Thursday, April 3, 2008

Arnold’s crazy dream

We meant to run this delightful Arnold Schnabel sonnet the day after Easter, but we drank too much Easter wine and forgot all about it.

(Originally published in the Olney Times of April 28, 1962, and presented to you now thanks to the kind indulgence of the good ladies and gentlemen of the Arnold Schnabel Society. Nihil obstat: Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.)

"Easter Sunday, 1962"
So passes another Easter Sunday;
Our Lord has risen and we are redeemed;
But still I wish there could have been some way
To avoid what has always somehow seemed
To me an excessively horrible
Means of assuring our own special place
At God’s groaning celestial table
And His great feast of sanctifying grace,
As if the only way to save ourselves
Was to torture and kill the Son of God;
Each of us harbors unnameable hells,
But some of us harbor something more odd,
More strange, perhaps even slightly insane:
A dream of salvation not born from pain.

(Kindly turn to the right hand side of this page to find a listing of links to many other fine Arnold Schnabel poems, as well as to our serialization of his Walgreen’s Award-winning memoir Railroad Train to Heaven.)


Anonymous said...

Is that a still picture of Jean-Paul belmondo from "Breathless"?

Dan Leo said...

And I was hoping everyone would think that was an uncharacteristically raffish-looking Arnold...

Right, that is Jean-Paul Belmondo, Tedster, although I'm not sure if it's from "Breathless".

Ah, to be that damn cool...

Jennifer said...

Rock on, Arnold!

Unknown said...

Poetry makes the other forms pale. And more and more, I'm convinced, Arnold's poem are the real thing.

Dan Leo said...

In the bar car of that railroad train in heaven, Arnold raises a Manhattan in toast to you, dear friends.

Anonymous said...

hey--wait a minute..all along I've been thinking Arnold was "older", but he was only 25 in 1963, right?

Dan Leo said...

Anon: actually Arnold would have been around 41 in Eastertime of 1962; he was a Depression-era kid, went to work on the railroad at the age of 16, and served in the army engineers in WWII.

He gives us a capsule autobiography in Part 7 of his memoir "Railroad Train to Heaven".

Anonymous said...

"Was to torture and kill the Son of God"

America dudn't torture

Dan Leo said...

Oh, right; Arnold forgot.