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Hammer Is the Prayer

There is no consolation in the thought of God,

he said, slamming another nail

in another house another havoc had half-taken.

Grace is not consciousness, nor is it beyond.

To hell with remembrance, to hell with heaven,

hammer is the prayer of the poor and the dying.

And as wind in some lordless random comes to rest,

and all the disquieted dust within,

peace came to the hinterlands of our minds,

too remote to know, but peace nonetheless.

Christian Wiman is an American poet and editor of Poetry. He is the author of, most recently, Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet (Copper Canyon Press).

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