Quirky Cool Poem (There Be Lions)

Photo courtesy Irum Shahid at Stock.xchnge

I love anything that’s written in an absurd or quirky style, and “Sunt Leones” (translated from Latin: there be lions) certainly meets that criteria.  Following is the now classic poem written by the talented Stevie Smith (1902-1971).

Sunt Leones

The lions who ate the Christians on the sands of the arena
By indulging native appetites played what has now been seen a
Not entirely negligible part
In consolidating at the very start
The position of the Early Christian Church
Initiatory rites are always bloody
And the lions, it appear
 
From contemporary art, made a study
Of dyeing Coliseum sands a ruddy
Liturgically sacrificial hue
And if the Christians felt a little blue
Well people being eaten often do
Theirs was the death, and theirs the crown undying
A state of things which must be satisfying
My point which up to this has been obscure
is that it was the lions who procure
By chewing up blood gristle flesh and bone
The martyrdoms on which the Church has grown
I only write this poem because I thought it rather looked  
As if the part the lions played was being overlooked
By lions’ jaws great benefits and blessings were begotten  
And so our debt to Lionhood must never be forgotten. 

See a list of books by Stevie Smith on amazon.com.

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