Blog Posts on Poems

All Creation Betrothed to God

John Piper

George Herbert died on this day in 1633. I return to his poetry for my own soul more, probably, than any poet outside the Bible.

In a poem called “Ungratefulness,” he shows how the Trinity and the Incarnation draw all the work of creation finally into God’s enjoyment.

Just as God exulted over his creation in the beginning with, “It is very good,” so in the end he…

Continue Reading

A Song by John Piper

Josh Etter

While preaching through Romans 12:1-8 in 2004, John Piper wrote a song inspired by the text. Musician Kevin Potherician put the song to music.

O Jesus, take my bent away
For thinking much of me,
And kill my pride, and from this day
With mercy make me free.

O Jesus, grant the gift to see
The treasure that you are,
And as the night eclipses me,
O be my…

Continue Reading

First Published Black Poet in America

John Piper

Phillis Wheatley was the first black person to publish a book of poetry in English. There is a story behind it.

Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, had to be published in London because the Boston publishers, where she lived as a slave, did not believe a young black woman could have written them. The British publishers required an official “Attestation” from leaders in Boston that the poems…

Continue Reading

A Poem About Jesus in Haiti

John Piper

Jesus in Haiti
After the Earthquake

Do you consider safety, or your health,
          A sign from me?
I am not awed by might, nor struck by wealth,
          Or poverty.

O, I am struck! And crushed. Buried, I wince,
           And dying, pray,
A sympathetic Priest in Port-au-Prince,
          Even today.

But there, in those United States the boot
          Is on my face.
“Saul, Saul,” I ask, “Why do you persecute
          …

Continue Reading

Little Lamb, Who Made Thee?

John Piper

William Blake was born yesterday, 1757.  One of his most famous poems is one of my favorites. It’s a good launch into Advent.

Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed,
By the stream and o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little…

Continue Reading

The Weight of Generations: For Noël on Mother’s Day

John Piper

You bear them yet, this progeny,
     These little ones you bore.
And, oh, how changed your mothering
     Since you were twenty-four.

You once were carried on the wings
     Of hope and expectations,
And now you carry in your soul
     The weight of generations.

But you have learned whose back can bear
     The heaviness of years,
And I have seen you load his back,
     And soak his robes with tears.

No…

Continue Reading