Sartre’s Funeral

 Paris, 19 April 1980

Immense, the crowds that line the cortege route
Pay homage now to him that set them free,
Emancipated from Church piety.
Delivered from the bonds of creed, they doubt, 
Just as he taught them, urging them to flout
God’s pleasure-killing laws of chastity.
Hands stretch to touch the hearse; eyes strain to see,
Encoffined, him who sent the priests in rout.

In shadows, his soul sees a different throng:
He glimpses spirits, bathed in light, above:
They are the fools who never took his side
When he explained why Christian faith was wrong.
His followers, below, in darkness rove,
All searching for the exit he’s denied.  

Bryce Christensen

Bryce Christensen is professor of English at Southern Utah University, where he teaches literature--including non-Western literature in translation. He is currently teaching American literature at National Taiwan University in Taipei as a visiting Fulbright professor. He has published poetry in The Formalist, First Things, Modern Age, Chronicles, and elsewhere. His poetry has been anthologized in Sonnets (University of Evansville) and Grace Notes (Institute on Religion and Public Life). He is the author of the novel Winning (Whiskey Creek Press) and of ‘The Portals of Sheol’ and Other Poems (White Violet Press). He and his wife, Mary, are the parents of three children and the grandparents of seven grandchildren.

'Sartre’s Funeral' has 1 comment

  1. December 3, 2019 @ 1:46 pm Cynthia Erlandson

    This is great!


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