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Poem: "The Games of Purgatory" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "The Games of Purgatory"

This poem came from the December 4, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by janetmiles.  This poem belongs to the Fledgling Grace series, which you can explore further via the Serial Poetry page.  Read about foursquare and Doctor Knickerbocker online.


The Games of Purgatory


There is a special corner of Purgatory
for the souls of unbaptized infants
and children who die unshriven with
their little sins hung 'round their necks like mittens
to stay until they grow ready for Heaven.

This, too, is where forgotten games go,
foursquare and Doctor Knickerbocker
and rhymes lost with dead languages.

Uriel sweeps them all up with his soft dark wings
and introduces them to each other.

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8 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
thnidu From: thnidu Date: December 6th, 2012 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that is warm. Melikes it.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 6th, 2012 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm happy to hear that.
catsittingstill From: catsittingstill Date: December 6th, 2012 12:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hadn't realized foursquare and doctor knickerbocker were forgotten.

I played foursquare and I knew the rhyme for doctor knickerbocker though I don't remember if I knew the clapping pattern that went with it.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 6th, 2012 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well...

The prompter cited those as games that were known previously, but don't seem to be passed along among children today.
cadenzamuse From: cadenzamuse Date: December 11th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, rather. That seems live a very Uriel thing to do. And I love the image of tiny sins like tiny mittens on strings, so as not to be lost (although on a religious/spiritual level, I hate it).
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 11th, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>>Yes, rather. That seems live a very Uriel thing to do.<<

I'm glad you like this.

>>And I love the image of tiny sins like tiny mittens on strings, so as not to be lost (although on a religious/spiritual level, I hate it).<<

Children can be oddly determined about this. Some of them take their childhood sins far more seriously than many adult do with graver violations. The image was just there.

The impression I get in this cosmology is that while God is very forgiving and open-minded, humans are far more inclined to get hung up on sins and rules and other arbitrary ideas. So God tries to provide ways for them to work through their issues that will make sense to them. Purgatory, therefore, is not a punishment but a coping mechanism.
cadenzamuse From: cadenzamuse Date: December 12th, 2012 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

The impression I get in this cosmology is that while God is very forgiving and open-minded, humans are far more inclined to get hung up on sins and rules and other arbitrary ideas.

I would say that is definitely true of my experience of God in our universe. We do get stuck rather easily.

So God tries to provide ways for them to work through their issues that will make sense to them.

God is a consummate therapist.

Purgatory, therefore, is not a punishment but a coping mechanism.

LOVE that.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: December 12th, 2012 01:17 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

>>I would say that is definitely true of my experience of God in our universe. We do get stuck rather easily.<<

Sooth.

>>God is a consummate therapist.<<

I've come across that interpretation in a few other places, but not a lot. You'd think it would come up more, as much as people pour their hearts out in prayer.

>>LOVE that.<<

Yay! In this series, I look for ways to weave in established bits of religion and cosmology, while tilting them in a slightly different direction.
8 comments or Leave a comment