‘Lord of the molecule’, by R.S. Thomas

Lord of the molecule and the atom
are you Lord of the gene, too?

An ancestor mingled his sperm
with the ovum and here is a warped life.

Were they so wrong who thought, when
it thundered, you were in a rage?

What is it, when the sky twitches
with lightning, but mimicry of your grimace?

I have seen the jay, that singer
out of tune, helping itself

to a morsel out of the lark’s nest,
and you beamed down imperturbably as the sun.

We are used by the bacteria.
I have known the Chattertons and the Keats’

acting as porters of their obscene luggage.
What makes you God but the freedom

you have given us to bellow our defiance
at you over the grave’s maw, or to let

silence ensue so deliberately
as to be taken for an Amen.

– R.S. Thomas, Counterpoint (Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books, 1990), 51.

One thought on “‘Lord of the molecule’, by R.S. Thomas

  1. Hmm, another interesting poem from Thomas. But I don’t get the meaning of these two lines: I have known the Chattertons and the Keats’acting as porters of their obscene luggage.

    Can you elucidate? (I’m assuming it’s something to do with Keats the poet, but maybe I’m assuming wrongly.)

    Like

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