I am the great sun – Charles Causley – Analysis

The following sonnet was composed by Charles Causley when he was inspired after viewing a 1632 Normandy crucifix.

I am the great sun 

I am the great sun, but you do not see me,
  I am your husband, but you turn away.
I am the captive, but you d o not free me,
  I am the captain but you will not obey.

I am the truth, but you will not believe me,
  I am the city where you will not stay.
I am your wife, your child, but you will leave me,
  I am that God to whom you will not pray.

I am your counsel, but you will not hear me,
  I am your lover whom you will betray.
I am the victor, but you do not cheer me,
  I am the holy dove whom you will slay.

I am your life, but if you will not name me,
  Seal up your soul with tears, and never blame me.

Charles Causley (1917 – 2003)

Each of the three quartets gives metaphoric representation to the attributes that might be associated with Christ.

sun, husband, captive, captain,
truth, city, wife, God,
counsel, lover, victor, dove

There are many I am statements in the Bible …
I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35)
I am the Light of the World (John 8:12)
I am the Door (John 10:9)
I am the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14)
I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)
I am the Way and the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)
I am the Vine (John 15:1,5)

The Crucifix is such an emotive icon. What it represents to the individual is unique. The personal response is so varied. I am are the most important two words in the whole of the Bible?

Looking at the first line. The Sun is great. The sun is the Centre of our solar system. We revolve around the Sun. The Sun gives life, warmth, energy, and growth. It is a fact that the Earth is actually falling towards the Sun, but only very slowly!

But the poem is a lamentation on the failure of mankind; failure to be enlightened. And considering what is happening in the world today perhaps it is man-unkind.

Following the list quartets, the closing couplet gives emphatic statement that recognition is up to you. There is personal choice involved.

I am the seed that you must water
I am the plant that you must nurture 
you are the fruit I want to see 
harvested for the sake of me

The following image is the Cross at the Salvation Army Hall, Batemans Bay, NSW. This Cross an empty crucifix. We may wonder where Christ is today!

Christ is within for all to discover.

Charles Causley is a background underrated poet. Ted Hughes highly regarded him, and they were good friends. Charles Causley on Wikipedia – Charles Causley – Wikipedia

And here is another of his famous poems concerning disability.

One thought on “I am the great sun – Charles Causley – Analysis

Your word in my ear ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s