Saturday, October 10, 2015

Villanelle on the Eve of a Marathon

The secret of my success over the 400 metres is that I run the first 200 metres as hard as I can. Then, for the second 200 metres, with God’s help, I run harder.
This is a partial repost from Good Friday, 2015, in honor of those running the Chicago Marathon tomorrow and for all others who run a spiritual race with and for God. The picture and quotation is from the martyred Christian Olympian Eric Liddell.
Villanelle of the Hidden Life by Sarah Ruden*
For years, I sought to walk a godly pace,
Not sensing all things rushing into God.
But now I run, I run as in a race. 
There was a stream, but one I could not trace
While I was wading dust as thick as blood
And shouting that I walked a godly pace. 
There was a sun, but one I did not face,
Nor see the hills pursue it in a crowd.
I did not hear it panting in its race. 
But everyone who turns to seek His grace
Becomes a restless horse the faint breeze prods
And instigates beyond a godly pace. 
I could not be left lonely by the chase
Toward Him. The ground was moving in a flood,
And all things sang and hurtled in the race. 
And through that storm I saw how wide a space
I had to cross. I heard each slow step's thud.
For years, I sought to walk a godly pace,
But now I run, I run as in a race.

*As cited by Gates of Vienna, 2010.


  1. Nice poem. I ran the St Louis Marathom in 2006. Yeay for me.

    Seattle Kim

    1. That's great! Have you done other races? Are you still running now?