Poetry Forum Areas

Introduce Yourself

New to PoetrySoup? Introduce yourself here. Tell us something about yourself.

Looking for a Poem

Can't find a poem you've read before? Looking for a poem for a special person or an occasion? Ask other member for help.

Writing Poetry

Ways to improve your poetry. Post your techniques, tips, and creative ideas how to write better.

High Critique

For poets who want unrestricted constructive criticism. This is NOT a vanity workshop. If you do not want your poem seriously critiqued, do not post here. Constructive criticism only. PLEASE Only Post One Poem a Day!!!

How do I...?

Ask PoetrySoup Members how to do something or find something on PoetrySoup.

You have an ad blocker! We understand, but...

PoetrySoup is a small privately owned website. Our means of support comes from advertising revenue. We want to keep PoetrySoup alive, make it better, and keep it free. Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on PoetrySoup. See how to enable ads while keeping your ad blocker active. Also, did you know you can become a PoetrySoup Lifetime Premium Member and block ads forever...while getting many more great features. Take a look! Thank you!

Dickeyville Grotto

 The priest never used blueprints, but worked all
the many designs out of his head.
Father Wilerus, transplanted Alsatian, built around this plain Wisconsin redbrick church a coral-reef en- crustation--meant, the brochure says, to glorify America and heaven simul- taneously.
Thus: Mary and Columbus and the Sacred Heart equally enthroned in a fantasia of quartz and seashells, broken dishes, stalactites and stick-shift knobs-- no separation of nature and art for Father Wilerus! He's built fabulous blooms --bristling mosaic tiles bunched into chipped, permanent roses--- and more glisteny stuff than I can catalogue, which seems to he the point: a spectacle, saints and Stars and Stripes billowing in hillocks of concrete.
Stubborn insistence on rendering invisibles solid.
What's more frankly actual than cement? Surfaced, here, in pure decor: even the railings curlicued with rows of identical whelks, even the lampposts and birdhouses, and big encrusted urns wagging with lunar flowers! A little dizzy, the world he's made, and completely unapologetic, high on a hill in Dickeyville so the wind whips around like crazy.
A bit pigheaded, yet full of love for glitter qua glitter, sheer materiality; a bit foolhardy and yet -- sly sparkle -- he's made matter giddy.
Exactly what he wanted, I'd guess: the very stones gone lacy and beaded, an airy intricacy of froth and glimmer.
For God? Country? Lucky man: his purpose pales beside the fizzy, weightless fact of rock.

Poem by
Biography | Poems | Best Poems | Short Poems | Quotes | Email Poem - Dickeyville GrottoEmail Poem | Create an image from this poem

Poems are below...

Top Mark Doty Poems

Analysis and Comments on Dickeyville Grotto

Provide your analysis, explanation, meaning, interpretation, and comments on the poem Dickeyville Grotto here.