I asked for the book The Best Poems of the English Language this past Christmas because I keep reading about how I should be reading more poetry. The book is a compilation of some of the best works of poetry “From Chaucer Through Robert Frost” and I’ve only picked it up a few times since December. A few nights ago I was finishing up some other reading and I saw my poetry book on the nightstand and said to myself, “There’s no better time than the present to start reading poetry,” so I dove in.

After looking at the appendix for some authors I recognized, John Donne seemed to stand out for some reason, so I began reading his poem “A Hymn to God the Father.” That’s when I realized I need to be reading more poetry. Poets have a way of saying things that make old truths new again. They can move the words in such a way that you begin to feel a certain way or see an old truth in a new light. That’s how I felt about Donne’s poem. It’s a poem about sin and I think it’s worth it for you to read. I’ve copied it below–enjoy.

Oh, one more thing. It just so happens that April is National Poetry Month. Reading this poem is not only helpful to your soul, but you can tell all your friends how cultured you are. You’re so cool–go you.

WILT Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore ;
But swear by Thyself, that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore ;
And having done that, Thou hast done ;
I fear no more.