This sonnet set, in a manner similar to the "Four and a Half Romantic Sonnets" that I posted maybe about half a year ago, explore the differences between the behaviours of men and women. The first sonnet explores St. Edith Stein's idea that gender (how you think and behave) is partially independent of sex (what you are). The second explores her ideas about how men and women use their work-faculties differently.
The third explores her ideas about how men and women grow closer to God differently. The third explores her belief that it is the husband's responsibility to give himself and his wife to God. Like the last sonnet set of which I spoke, the sonnets have the tone of the man struggling with and eventually overcoming the idea of himself being pointless compared to the woman.
O Muse of Poesy, having knowledge great
Of things unproven, read for me this code:
Should I behave according to the mode
Accustomed, or with charism counter fate
And act according to ‘clination strange?
For if one’s habit-acts proceed in kind
Unnaturally from the norm arranged
By certain sex, then how shall judge our minds?
Tis best to know both masculine and male
Or rather to inquire separately?
For they are like, but not identical.
Sex, not gender, is necessary.
I know not which provides the method best
But for the present, both of them we’ll test.
What purpose serves to separate the parts
That constitute a task? Seems weakness is
At work in this. He cannot handle th’art
Of intricate yet humble task-filled webs.
Or else the things that are this kind of work
Seem to outshine, like misty gold morning,
On plains, all else, and make it look a shirk
Quite far removed from important things.
But who is man to judge upon the use
Of studies, arts, and rulings God-decreed
By Him providing their full parts and juice?
Engage then, in heroic thoughts and deeds!
It may take strength and valor to combine,
But, hero, separation’s also thine.
When one does journey, does he take a road
To see a friend, on which he swerves aside
To paint a picture, kill a dragon-toad
Or else? Or does he direct ride?
When with a blazing love and loyalty
A man is fired, like a lightning flash
Or lava flow that slow engulfs a tree
Why does he burn the tree, and not just crash
Straight through to love the one he loves? Both ways
He groweth strong with exercize of love
So why, when pathway straight is good pathway
Does loyalty divert the thoughts of love?
It is because one does not love the less.
Love’s r’ward’s prompted, deferred by willingness.
Why would one choose a living book of lore
Arcane or with no ready-to-hand use,
A near machine that rituals galore
Pour forth from for the things that it does choose,
To be the channel through which waters new-
Expelled from Mother, from the skies azure,
And from the channel’s very walls, shew
Their joyful burbling to give God pleasure?
The channel’s virtues are its contents bright
And all the love with which they’re placed before
The throne of God. And this master of lore,
Whose sex does sometimes seem to be a blight,
Was chosen for his truly ritual dance
So e’en gift-ACT is love-obedience.
So never fear, man: you’re not challenged least.
Love you don’t lack, nor privilege of the priest.