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A Flower at the Foot of the Cross

by DoubleRiders

I desire to be a little flower not seen by the worldly eye,

Planted by Him in an unknown land, for Him alone I draw breath

Every moment a continuation of His Passion, my death a mimic of His death.

Small and fragile I am, but with my roots planted deep in Him,

My only desire being to give myself for souls, to be His little victim.

Under the protection of the Sun, and the mountains which surround me,

I can be little, yet do great things - as He wishes, may it be.

I was made to stand by the Cross, and at His feet to lie...

      I desire to be a little flower, created solely to give glory to my Creator,

      A reflection of the love which is shared by the Three within.

      In His mercy my existence contributes to making His glory greater;

      Every moment I live is in hopes that one soul I may win -

      To console the breaking heart of my crucified Saviour,

      Hanging alone on the Cross, to remove the stain of sin.

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Points: 137
Reviews: 3

Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:01 am
eeh03 wrote a review...

Hiya, just came across your poem so heres a little review. Just a pre-warning, any constructive criticism I may give is not for you to immediately change your poem, but to keep in mind if you ever come to revise it because I feel more that ever in poetry the poets voice is so important and must stay consistent and exterior critique, if not considered correctly, threatens this, so keep this in mind. Also, poetry is too subjective to just immediately change anything according to one persons opinion.
Firstly, I noticed you called this a Petrarchan sonnet, as far as I am aware, a Petrarchan sonnet must have an iambic pentameter. Of course these strict poetry rules are pretty outdated nowadays, and your poem is too good as it is for me to suggest you cut out like half the syllables, but maybe keep this in mind if you do another one of these.
I loved the spiritual imagery, very Wordsworth, but especially in the first stanza, I found the repetition of His and Him slightly overbearing, mainly because the capital emphasised it. Maybe see if you can replace any of them, maybe "Every moment a continuation of divine passion" or some edit like that. But again, this might just be my opinion and keep it if you feel it would do more harm than good to change it.
This might be me being very pernickety, but the use of desire twice in the first stanza could maybe be avoided, especially as it creates the image that the speaker desires two things, while the second is their only desire. I don't know, and it is a lovely word I can see the appeal of using it.
Ok, now onto all the brilliant things about your poem. I love the sense of space, obviously divine imagery pretty much creates this from the off, but the idea of a "little flower", which is surrounded by words like "worldly", "unknown land", "mountains" and "great" really emphasises the insignificance in size of the power, contrasting with the intentions of it. I also love the use of a Petrarchan sonnet, which are often associated with romance poetry, to address God, almost as though it is love poem for God, with an emphasis on Jesus, which brings to mind images of devotion, which I believe is the poems intent. Finally, the vocab is so beautifully chosen. The words are not by far difficult ones, which often great sonnets flaunt, and yet the simple vocab is almost better than what could've been, there is a clear flow and every line is just gorgeous.
I hope this review has helped and keep reading! There are so many poems out there with such divine imagery that you could look into.
E x

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Points: 0
Reviews: 0

Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:36 am
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This is beautiful! I loved every sentence and every word. I can tell you really connected with this to write it as did I and that's fantastic. I wish this was longer but I look forward to reading your other works

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816 Reviews

Points: 26632
Reviews: 816

Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:27 pm
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alliyah wrote a review...

Oh, I see this is not just a religious poem, but also a sonnet? Nice!

The sacrificial love that the speaker echoes, reminds me of the early Christian Martyrs, it seems that folks rarely talk about this level of sacrifice anymore, for instance,
"every moment a continuation of His Passion, my death a mimic of His death" - that's intense language, almost at an intensity that is difficult for me to relate to, as none can truly make the same sacrifice as Christ.

The contrast with the flower being a metaphor for Christ's followers is really nice, and the flower's innocent and weak contrast to Jesus's gruesome crucifixion is striking too - I think you could amp up the crucifixion description as well as the imagery of the delicate flower in order to highlight that contrast even more. Actually, when I first started writing poetry, I wrote a poem with a similar concept - Fallen Glory you might give a read if you're interested.

Overall I think that the intensity of the poem makes sense, and will help engage readers - but I did think the language of being God's "victim" is much too strong. We are the victims of our own sin, but never the victims of God - instead we are the exact opposite - we are God's beloved children! Romans 8:37 says in Christ, we are "more than conquerors through Him who loved us" - the gospel's message needs to hold the the strike of the law and the balm of the forgiveness/gospel together, and I'm not sure this poem quite meets that balance in places - specifically that portion about victimhood which I find theologically problematic.

I would say I enjoyed the second stanza more as it held out a few more lines of hope for the reader. You do a good job weaving modern and more formal spiritual language together along with seamless metaphors, I think you could work a bit at incorporating more imagery into the whole poem to make the different subjects and images pop though.

I do really enjoy that you tackle religious poetry, it's not always easy or well appreciated. Keep up the good work! :)



DoubleRiders says...

Thank you so much! I greatly appreciate it!
I have found too that I struggle with balancing imagery into my poems as well. I%u2019ll have to work on it!
%u201CVictim%u201D more in a loving sense, as we are helping Him to carry the Cross instead of leaving it all to Him and counting on His mercy. I have found that a lot of people think that Christ paid the price, we are all saved, end of story. Jesus actually came to teach us what we must do. Why else would the martyrs have given their lives if Christ had already done everything for us?

Thank you so much for reviewing, I do appreciate it!

~ Selina

alliyah says...

You're welcome! :)

Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others.
— Groucho Marx