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‘Seven’ by Jackson Pollock (1950)

Amaya here tonight and hoping that in this seventh month of the solar year, you are all deep into summer (or winter) and experiencing fully whatever the tilt of the planet has to offer. In honor of this week being dVerse Poets’ seventh anniversary, we are going to offer a couple of prompts with ‘seven’ as the theme. Since sin is part of what we’ll explore tonight, grab a 7 and 7 and let’s hash out at the bar humanity’s weaknesses.

“Love the sinner, hate the sin,” a quotation that has been attributed to numerous do-gooders throughout history, from St. Augustine to Mahatma Gandhi to your average social media warrior. But curiously, as I was preparing for this prompt and seeking out poetry about sins, a Zen-like underbelly was exposed as I discovered a trend wherein cardinal sin was touted as necessary to precede and even tantamount to embracing beneficence. Vice and virtue, enmeshed together in an eternal symbiotic relationship.

The “seven deadlies” as they are known in pop culture, are:
• Greed
• Lust
• Envy
• Gluttony
• Sloth
• Wrath
• Pride

And the seven virtues are:
• Charity
• Chastity
• Kindness
• Temperance
• Diligence
• Patience
• Humility

I’m asking you to write a poem about one or all of these and how your life has been affected. Do you see a complementary function between vice and virtue? Is there one in particular that has played a key role in your giving in to temptation? Or one that has provided a valuable lesson? Can you personify them and show their relationship in an unforeseen light? Consider one or more of these questions, but the form for your poem is open.

Here is a poem by a beloved blogger poet whom I recently learned passed away in February of this year, Keith Jaret, aka The Existential Baker.

Sin Times Seven

With a profound yearn I stared

Eyes aching inside my head

Dare I attempt stealing a peek

Peel back the jaded curtain

Glimpse inside the forbidden mind

Will I see my intimate solicitor

Fantasy goddess bathed in lust

In the bedroom of debauchery

Nay it is the reflection of Narcissus

Smiling back at me before the fall

Shall I sip from this abundant pool

Stare naked in the waves of deception

Ingest the water of ravenous virtues

Sate myself on mutual salaciousness

Or shall I keep this bliss for myself

Exile her to my bed chained in apathy

Enslave her tortured devotions as mine

Rage against the betrayal of desire

Exploding fury upon our rapture

Engorge ourselves on pleasure and pain

Until we can consume no longer

Our lethargic bodies idle and degenerate

Lust suffering listlessly in atrophy

Destroyed by each deadly sin

Times seven


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