Poem of the Week: “Defining Desires”

Originally, I wrote this poem for a school project while studying Dante’s Inferno (which I highly suggest everyone read, in addition to the other two books in Dante’s Divine Comedy series, as well). As Dante travels through Hell, he encounters so many people that are now being punished for their earthly sins. Their desires ultimately defined them and their punishment. I wrote this poem as a kind of reminder to myself that if I do not let the holiness of God define me, the heinousness of my sin will.

Dante's Inferno

O the Depths of Hell, thou fiendish breath of death,
I walked beneath the earth, amid the wailing
Of the dead, amid the yells and gasps for breath.
Though all hope’s gone, and all my light is failing
I stand beneath this dark rock to hear a sound,
A shade, a shadow, a dawn, an unveiling.
I entered though Hell’s gate from the above ground,
I sought a solace in the pit of Sheol,
I sought a light where no light was to be found.
I sought a glimmer in all the ghostly black,
I sought a ray on the incongruous track.
When I emerged from all the horrors unreal,
I saw an ethereal glow of sunshine.
Now I could grasp the truth of the things surreal.
Darkness never hides forever – light forth shines,
The screams of terror, scenes of horror are gone,
Forever held by desires that define.

© Copyright 2018, Svetlana Harris. All rights reserved.

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