“Adam, where are you?”
God’s hands
palpate darkness, the void
that is Adam’s inattention,
his confused attention to everything,
impassioned by multiplicity, his despair.

Multiplicity, his despair;
God’s hands
enacting blindness. Like a child
at a barbaric fairgrounds —
noise, lights, the violent odors —
Adam fragments himself. The whirling rides!

Fragmented Adam stares.
God’s hands
unseen, the whirling rides
dazzle, the lights blind him. Fragmented,
he is not present to himself. God
suffers the void that is his absence.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Denise Levertov's poem On a Theme by Thomas Merton

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