The Deronda Review

a journal of poetry and thought

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THE PARABLE OF THE PHOENIX

"Therefore they who speak in parables say, 'Come to Heshbon! ." (Numbers 21:27)

Out of the pyre, we see the phoenix rise,

Out of the fumes, the glaring flares, the blaze,

Out of the fire, the flames, the phoenix flies.

 

The cruelty of man has scorched our eyes

And blinded us with dread, yet still we gaze:

Out of the pyre, we see the phoenix rise.

 

Although hot coals of evil agonize

Our nights and burn the minutes of our days,

Out of the fire, the flames, the phoenix flies.

 

Can we go on believing, when a child dies

In pain?  But even then, when grace decays,

Out of the pyre, we see the phoenix rise.

 

Is this the vision sages prophesize?

The phoenix lives!  Out of the smoke, the haze,

Out of the fire, the flames, the phoenix flies.

 

Her silken wings unsinged, the bird defies

The certainty of death, and sings life's praise;

Out of the pyre, we see the phoenix rise;

Out of the fire, the flames, the phoenix flies.

 

 

                                        -- Yakov Azriel

 



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