wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                       The sailing of the ark  22 of 45  HOME  


Imagine one more myth. Suppose there was
an image, once, of perfect truth, 

in which Adam looked, until like everything
it was shattered in the Fall, its pieces strewn 

across the centuries. Most came to rest
in a small, untidy, squabbled-over country, 

where men, by diligence or what seemed luck,
discovered fragments, stained or brightly polished, edges 

sharp enough to wound; they swept-up sixty-six,
each one a book, and when with careful restoration 

by Nicaea they had done the best they could
they held it up at last—the Bible, Paul's dark glass, 

a broken mirror that somehow returns
the cracked reflection of the face of God. 

The second turning point of the sequence: a mythic view of the nature of scriptural authority.

Nicaea By the time of the first Council of Nicaea in 325AD the present canon of the 66 books of the Christian Bible was more or less generally accepted by the church.  

Paul’s dark glass cf 1 Corinthians 13:12 (the Authorised Version: “glass” means “mirror”).