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Saturday, April 11, 2009
The Harrowing of Hell
Here is George Mackay Brown, poet of Orkney, in his poem entitled “The Harrowing of Hell:”

He went down the first step.
His lantern shone like the morning star.
Down and round he went
Clothed in his five wounds.

Six steps follow: 
on second he meets Solomon; 
third David; 
fourth Joseph; 
fifth Jacob; 
sixth Abel

On the seventh step down
The tall primal dust [Adam]

Turned with a cry from digging and delving.

“Tomorrow,” ends the poem, 
“the Son of Man will walk in a garden
Through drifts of apple-blossom.” 

(“The Harrowing of Hell,” in Northern Lights [London: John Murray, 1999], 24.)

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posted by John David Walt | at 4/11/2009 03:01:00 AM



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