The 12th-century monastic, Bernard of Clairvaux, wrote 86 sermons on the Song of Songs…
86 Sermons on Song of Songs
Bernard of Clairvaux no
doubt wrote many more.
The more scandalous never made it out of his cell.
But he knew that there was nothing more essential
than the one theme of desire.
If he couldn’t make that means of communication work
we might as well be damned.
But who would cop to such hunger, unseemly
as it is?
To look out
on our fields of plenty, our beautifully
stocked shelves in innumerable super
stores, over waves of
grain, our full tank of
gas, and say ‘It’s not
I want more. I want the burning
engine of purpose, the alluring
seduction of beauty, the cause converting
me into roiling motion and threatening
to reduce me
to essence or
oblivion, the release
from solipsism, the laying
myself at Her feet,
the mystic union, and yet
I am insatiable in this desire.
I am transgressive in my wants.
86 sermons is a drop in the bucket compared
to what I will do for Love.