Beckett: Poetry – No. 1495, The Devil’s Chord: Suicide

This poem was inspired by Psalm 139:13-16.


Why can’t anybody love me?
I reach for love and grasp at nothing.

Or I hold on for a little while,
and inevitably it floats away
as I fall into the pit of despair.

What is joy, that it flees from me?
I am numb to smiles and hugs,
for all joy is fleeting.
What is the point in living
when everyone inevitably betrays you?

All I am is a burden.
If I die, it will be a favour
to all cursed enough to know me.
Let me play the Devil’s chord:
raise the blade and cut the string.

But lo, with a loud voice came God’s aria:
“I formed you in your mother’s womb;
every part of you I know fully.
I am with you, wherever you are;
I have loved you before time.”

Thus, He took me and washed me
in His cleansing waters,
giving me a heart and spirit anew
and the inheritance of eternal life
through His Son Jesus Christ.

Therefore, I have the eternal hope
of life everlasting, and a place
my Lord is preparing for me.
Thus now I live with this hope
even under threat of death.

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