Blog Posts on Poems

A Poem on Hebrews 3:13

John Piper

"Lest You Be Hardened"
Hebrews 3:13

Your thoughts, your words, your ways
     Are high,
So far above my place
     That I 
Sometimes perceive your broad
Your brilliant blue, your sun—
    As night.

You love me with some shock,
     A threat.
Am I then in the dock,
    In debt?
You answer, "No, you're blest.
     It's my
Alert, my kindness, lest

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Slow Dying

John Piper

The hill of dying, not of death,
     Is steeper,
And all the climbers gashed.

On hands and knees, I take a breath,
     A creeper,
Barely moving, slashed.

And though the door of death is shut,
      The keeper
Beckons with a skull.

“But if my death is why you cut,
     Grim Reaper,
Why is your scythe so dull?”

Recent poems from John Piper:

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God Answers

John Piper

Is there a word to help us feel 
     the weight of Adam's fall?

How heavy will this burden weigh,
     (Spare not!) on those who fell?

O Lord, so great this forfeiture!
     Was there sufficient reason?

Then whence could any traitor hope
     before your burning…

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My Life

John Piper

Shall I now live for him, 
     for you, for me?
I shall. 
     And do you see:

If not for him, 
      what good for you or me?
If not for me, 
       what worth then he?
If not for you, 
      Then less the sum would be.

And will you say to me,
       “Is not this quest outrageous…

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Calvary Love

Jonathan Parnell

John Piper's latest poem, "Calvary Love."

He held the world between his thumb and finger
like a tender grape.

And when the spike was driven through his hand,
his muscles flinched with world-creating force,
and crimson wine dripped from his fingertips.

But with omnipotent resolve
he neither dropped nor crushed his grape.

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When a Sermon Becomes a Poem

John Piper

After preaching on the inestimable value of God’s inspired word on August 11th, I was so moved that the desire to say it again another way kept urging me on. So I wrote this.

The Truth
A Meditation on 2 Timothy 3:14–17

Stay, Timothy. Stay in this firmament,
This world of light within the world. Relent
From wandering, from chasing mist. Remain!
Outside awaits the glistening world, insane.

Stay, Timothy.…

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A Poem on Our 43rd Wedding Anniversary

John Piper

Sometimes I write poems for our anniversary. Sometimes on our anniversary. This one I wrote on our anniversary, December 21st. It addresses the question of where in this baffling, unknown, fragile world certainty and security can be found.

The Bridge and the River
A Poem on Our 43rd Anniversary

I count at least two thousand gray triangles
in the two-lane bridge that links Wisconsin
to the town

where we sat…

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Piper’s First Published Poem for Money ($5)

John Piper

Since I preached on this text last Sunday (John 8:57), I decided to dig into my files to find the first poem I ever published for money. Five dollars. It was in the September, 1969 issue of Christian Life (p. 68).

Five dollars may have been just about right for the poem, but the truth is worth billions.

In that land
Were some birds
And some grass
And very much
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Piper on the Role of Poetry in the Christian Life

Jonathan Parnell

Desiring God's staff meets together every Friday morning for an hour of biblical teaching and prayer. Pastor John led this morning's gathering by unfolding the role of poetry in the Christian life.

He explains:

Poetry is not the answer, but it is a greater part of the answer than 95% of what we do with our time.

Woe to me if I think souls are saved by me or them…

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What Bob Dylan Got Right

John Piper

In 1979 Bob Dylan recorded the song "Gotta Serve Somebody." For those who listen with biblically informed ears the refrain echoes Paul and Jesus:

Paul: "You are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness" (Romans 6:16).

Jesus: "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other,…

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