Paramahansa Yogananda's "Consecration"
The first poem appearing in the great yogi/poet’s book of spiritual poems, Songs of the Soul, is an American (innovative) sonnet, featuring two sestets and a couplet with the rime scheme AABBCC DDEFGG HH.
(Please note: The incorrect spelling, "rhyme," was erroneously introduced into English by Dr. Samuel Johnson. For my explanation for using only the correct form, please see "Rime vs Rhyme: An Unfortunate Error.")
The first sestet is composed of three rimed couplets; the second sestet feature two rimed couplets and one unrimed couplet that occupies the middle of the sestet.
This innovative form is perfectly fitted to the subject matter of an Indian yogi who has come to America to minister to the waiting souls who are yearning for the benefits of the ancient yogic techniques in which the great Guru will instruct them.
Many of the ancient Hindu concepts will assist Westerners in understanding their own spiritual traditions, including the dominant Christianity of which many are already devotees.
In the opening poem, titled "Consecration," the speaker humbly offers his works to his Creator. He offers the love from his soul to one who gives him his life and his creative ability, as he dedicates his poems to the Divine.
First Sestet: "At Thy feet I come to shower"
The speaker proclaims that he has come to "shower / All my full heart’s rhyming flower" at the feet of his Beloved Creator. He then avers that the poems as well as the poet himself are "Of Thy breath born" and furthermore, they are "By Thy love grown."
The speaker has suffered great loneliness in his life before uniting with his Divine Belovèd; however, he earnestly searched for the ability to unite with the Divine Creator, and he was successful in finding that great blessing.
The speaker/devotee now offers that success to his Divine Friend because he knows that the Lord is the ultimate reason for his capabilities to accomplish all of his worthwhile goals. As he feels, works, and creates, the devotee gives all to God, without Whom nothing that is would ever be.
Second Sestet: "For Thee, the sheaves"
In the second sestet, the speaker asserts that he has composed these poems for the Beloved Creator. The "sheaves / Within these leaves" contain the essence of the poet’s life and accomplishments made possible by the Supreme Spirit.
From his life, the writer has chosen "the choicest flowers / Of my life’s season." The petals of his soul-flowers he has spread wide to allow "their humble perfume" to waft generously.
Couplet: "Hands folded, I come now to give"
The speaker then with prayer-folded hands addresses the Divine directly averring that he has "come now to give / What’s Thine." He knows that as a writer he is only the instrument that the Great Poet has used to create these poems. As the humble writer, he takes no credit for his works but gives it all to the Prime Creator.
The humble poet/speaker then gives a stern command to his Beloved, "Receive!" As a spark of the Divine himself, he discerns that he has the familial right to command his Great Father Poet to accept the gift that the devotee has created through the assistance of the Divine Poet.
Excerpt from Paramahansa Yogananda: Beholding the One in All - Collector's Series No. 1
© 2016 Linda Sue Grimes