w(Hol)l(y) or broken

Who among us
takes that name
in vain when none know
it’s diction, the sound
of all sounds shaped
before any lips were made
to sing such fullness.

If I heard even one syllable
of that name,
my mouth could not hold it
and unspoken it would resonate
inside my throat
and I would sound it
like a struck tuning fork,
humming always
a single chord of praise.

At dVerse, we are writing work inspired by Leonard Cohen.  I wrote this listening to the studio version of Hallelujah.  You can listen to it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3Fkuq5Lf0Q

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to w(Hol)l(y) or broken

  1. Bart Wolffe says:

    This resonates for me 🙂

  2. Mary says:

    “humming always a single chord of praise” – This is what the song Hallelujah does for me. It is a beautiful song, and when I hear it it will transport me to ‘higher places.’ Hard to take the name in vain with that word on one’s lips or in one’s mind.

    • Oh, so beautifully said, Mary. As I replied to Claudia, I always feel I am eavesdropping on someone praying when I hear this song–it has such a naked spirituality to it.

  3. I would have chosen that Cohen song too, it gives me chills and moves me. Love that you chose it and what you did here Susie.

  4. claudia says:

    my mouth could not hold it
    and unspoken it would resonate
    inside my throat…nice…it worked well…smiles

    • Claudia, thank you. Whenever I listen to this song, it is as if I am eavesdropping on someone’s prayer, threaded through with carnality and passion, but holy nonetheless.

  5. Grace says:

    I love that music, one of my fav ~ I like the praise you give to the sound and shape of His Name ~

  6. brian miller says:

    really nicely played against the song…some really great parts…If I heard even one syllable
    of that name,
    my mouth could not hold it…is a fav line, the admission in it…the sound of all sounds is a great description as well….very cool response…

  7. aka_andrea says:

    Wonderful homage to one of the most amazing songs ever written.

  8. Tony says:

    Love that song – and really enjoyed your poem too. You’ve done a great job of reflectong the spirituality of Cohen’s song here.

  9. Beautiful, Susan. I too love those first 3 lines of the second stanza – really moving poem. K

  10. Lovely sharing Susan. I love the second stanza… it sings to me.

  11. Lovely – especially the eternal tuning fork.

  12. ManicDdaily says:

    A lovely rif on the song, Susan. k.

  13. Laurie Kolp says:

    Beautiful… this makes me want to sing and rejoice!

  14. J Cosmo Newbery says:

    It has a deep reverence to it. Nicely done.

  15. Bodhirose says:

    I used that song as my inspiration too. It affects me deeply every time I hear it. It’s so filled with the abject sadness of life and yet…there’s great reverence and holiness there…like your take on it. Wonderful.

  16. I so agree I love the word love the song – I am not religious but one doesn’t have to be to become ‘one’ with the song. I have the Jeff Buckley version. Gorgeous tribute Sus.

  17. Love the song, really enjoy Kd Lang’s version, a lovely poem inspired by a great song.

    • I will have to check that out. i am right now in the midst of Bono’s version, which really did murder a great song. hate to say that, because I so admire the man’s work.

  18. hypercryptical says:

    Oh well done Susan – excellent.

    Anna :o]

  19. Susan says:

    The name of God, the mystery, captured in your poem as an awesome joy, “humming always.”

  20. janehewey says:

    wonderful take on the feel of this song, Susan. Jeff Buckley does a sublime version, I also like KD Lang’s. This must be one of the most covered songs of all time…true poetry.

  21. Love the reference to the tuning fork. I can hear the hum 🙂

  22. Intense, spiritual and deep!

  23. lucychili says:

    for me it is a bittersweet song, beautiful with some dark jagged edges.
    great poem

  24. Alice Keys says:

    I am inspired this morning right through my viral haze. This is something strong, indeed.

  25. nelle says:

    Leonard is one of my all time favourites. Closing Time will never fail to cheer me.

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