“The Little Nation” by Jessica Powers

Having recently discovered the poetry of Jessica Powers, thanks to Give Us This Day, I find this one especially delightful and apropos in these days that tempt us even more than usual to trust in violence. I guess it also provides a salutary antidote to my own somewhat gloomier poetry

The Little Nation

Having no gift of strategy or arms,
no secret weapon and no walled defense,
I shall become a citizen of love,
that little nation with the blood-stained sod
where even the slain have power, the only country
that sends forth an ambassador to God.

Renouncing self and crying out to evil
to end its wars, I seek a land that lies
all unprotected like a sleeping child;
nor is my journey reckless and unwise.
Who doubts that love has an effective weapon
may meet with a surprise.

Jessica Powers / Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (1941; 1946)
The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers, p. 39

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