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God goes, belonging to every riven thing

he’s made

sing his being simply by being

the thing it is:

stone and tree and sky,

man who sees and sings and wonders why


God goes. Belonging, to every riven thing

he’s made,

means a storm of peace.

Think of the atoms inside the stone.

Think of the man who sits alone

trying to will himself into a stillness where


God goes belonging. To every riven thing

he’s made

there is given one shade

shaped exactly to the thing itself:

under the tree a darker tree;

under the man the only man to see


God goes belonging to every riven thing.

He’s made

the things that bring him near,

made the mind that makes him go.

A part of what man knows,

apart from what man knows.


God goes belonging to every riven thing he’s made.

There is a music-like fluidity in this poem that makes it more and more beautiful every time I read it: Wiman’s use of repetition with the line “God goes belonging to every riven thing he’s made” and changing choice of punctuation in this sentence ( “God goes.”, “God goes. Belonging…”, “God goes belonging. To every…”) in each stanza is extremely effective in drawing the reader’s attention to not only the rhythm of his words, but the message within them. Wiman’s placement of the words “he’s made”, each given their own line in every stanza, also further draw attention to the very religious tones of this poem and work to glorify God as the creator. His use of the word “riven” also draws on religion, for God does not make broken things, yet he is belonging to them nonetheless. This word in this context seems to contradict one of the main principles of Christianity (that God is perfect and does not make mistakes), but offers comfort and a moment of deeper thought on the reader’s part: God will not deny or forget the broken because they are broken.

I also enjoyed the ryming couplets in each stanza, especially the last one “A part of what man knows, / apart from what man knows.”, as they added even more to the musical qualities of this piece. The last in particular, though, because despite the nearly identical wording, the lines mean far from the same things; the first drawing on man’s knowledge of the world and the second highlighting that there is still much to be learned, but ending with the same “God goes belonging to every riven thing he’s made” to once more showcase the knowledge that He is ever present and all powerful. All in all this poem is a beautiful testament of faith, in my opinion, despite whether or not the reader agrees with Wiman.


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