Weekly Poem: ‘Hammer Is the Prayer’

BY Mike Melia  November 29, 2010 at 1:42 PM EDT

By Christian Wiman

There is no consolation in the thought of God,
he said, slamming another nail

in another house another havoc had half-taken.
Grace is not consciousness, nor is it beyond.

To hell with remembrance, to hell with heaven,
hammer is the prayer of the poor and the dying.

And as wind in some lordless random comes to rest,
and all the disquieted dust within,

peace came to the hinterlands of our minds,
too remote to know, but peace nonetheless.

 

Christian WimanChristian Wiman is the editor of Poetry magazine and the author of three collections of poems: “Every Riven Thing” (2010), “Hard Night” (2005) and “The Long Home” (1998). Last week, he spoke with Art Beat about his latest collection. You can find that conversation and hear Wiman read another poem here.