Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Jonathan Edwards

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Jonathan Edwards

Article excerpt

There, mumbling in circles, "infinite upon infinite,"

the gaunt, hunched, profoundly disturbed shadow,

tallying up his sins, so formidable, he deserves

to be stowed below hell. So he skulks

to the howling wilderness, harnesses his horse,

awaits, sweaty, apprehensive, waits for Jesus

to ravish him again and again, delights when the sword

pierces him, dust caked upon his lips,

his clothes ripped; his flesh mutilated.

He returns to the chapel and terrifies

the congregation: you dangle in that web,

angry Spider God inching closer,

hungry to devour you.

America's greatest, most erudite theologian.

No one reads his tedious stuff anymore.

He's reduced to a poem and a narrative-

or rather, segments of a narrative

in The Norton Anthology.

Count the number of times he uses the word "sweet"

when recounting his defilement. …

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