Silent Disapproval

20 Feb 2023 | Believers | 0 comments

The relation between us was
silence; that and the feeling
of each one being watched
by the other…

It had begun
by my talking all of the time
repeating the worn formulae
of the churches in the belief
that was prayer. Why does silence
suggest disapproval? The prattling
ceased, not suddenly but,
as flowers die off in a frost
my requests thinned. I contented
myself I was answering
his deafness with dumbness. My tongue
lolled, clapper of a disused
bell that would never again
pound on him.

What are the emotions
of God? There was no admiring
of my restraint, no suggestion even
of a recompense for my patience.
If he had allowed himself but one

his name, for instance, spoken ever so obliquely;

my own that, for all his majesty, acknowledged my existence.

R.S. Thomas (1913-2000), Silence

Notes from the Compiler

'No Truce with the Furies', 1995. In Collected Later Poems, p. 287. 'Silent Disapproval', 'Passive Aggression' or 'Respectful Attention'?


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