My short take at Bradbury's view (in looking at some of the poems, stories and short essays -- like in "The Ghosts of Forever") -- is probably that he is more humanist than deist, but that he uses religious symbols to discuss what he thinks matters in life. But, I would never -- based on any writing of his I've ever read -- define him as an athiest. He's clearly not an orthodox christian, but he certainly seems to understand much of the symbolism better than many Christians I know. He also seems to take the "idea" of God seriously, although he stays very far away from any kind of definitive definition I've been able to isolate.
In Dandelion Wine, there was a great, short quote that probably gives Ray's view of churches. This is part of the description of Mr. Jonas:
"Couldn't stand churches, though he appreciated their ideas . . ."
It reminded me of an Emerson quote from the essay, "Self Reliance":
"I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching".
I understand Emerson and Ray's feelings about churches and who and what dwells inside them. The pomp and circumstance that sustains some clerics can serve as a wedge between them and the people they are supposed to minister. This poem echoes that sentiment. Of course, there is always the exception. Let's hope they will pevail over the unnumerable houses of worship that exist today.
Reverent white robes commissioned,
Humbly woven from finest silk,
By villagers hands folded in thanksgiving
Of abundant havest and healthy milk.
These silk robes are pristine and flowing
Embellished & hand-stitched with golden gimp
By a woman's raw fingers perpetually praying
Her affliction endured, her body limp.
Finest details, hand pressed with care
With a laundryman's dedication
Labor endured through steaming sweat
And daily prayerful meditation.
Holy garment, created by hands of faith
Woven, stitched, appliqued and pressed
God's self-appointed cloistered disciple
His virtue magnified in a gold-trimmed vest.
The priestly procession quotes sacred words,
He powders his buttocks, clips his nose,
He'll preach at the pulpet, call sinners to shame,
And when sought for counsel, he'll be indisposed.
Served up on gold-rimmed china,
He'll feast on a six-course supper at nine
After which, he'll enjoy aged brandy
So far removed from Christ's bread and wine.
Soon he'll shed those silkened white robes
And sleep on a nacisssistic bed laid
In between sheets folded and fluffed
By his ever-faithful, dutiful maid.
This man of self-importance, so empty inside,
Skipping his own daily prayers
He's simply too full, too tired.
These silk robes, home with their master,
Only they know who is sanctified.
[This message has been edited by Celestial (edited 08-10-2003).]
Hey, you don't give an author. Is this yours?
Yes, it's mine.
I thought it was good!
Thanks, Mr. D. That's probably my "lone wolf" piece, although I've actually witnessed some of the visuals summoned from that poem as a child and a designer that provided the interiors for a priest's well-appointed rectory several years ago. It was done in marble, granite, maple, tapestries and crystal.
For anyone interested is reading a few of my other pieces, go to:
[This message has been edited by Celestial (edited 08-11-2003).]
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