Michelangelo - Sonnet LIX - Only through fire can the smith pull and stretch
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Michelangelo – Sonnets [translated by Elizabeth Jennings]
Only through fire can the smith pull and stretch
Metal into the shape of his design.
Only through fire can the artist reach
Pure gold which only furnaces refine.
Nor can the phoenix rare itself remake
Unless it first be burnt. For my part, I
Hope to ascend triumphantly on high
Where death fulfils, where time itself must break.
The fire of which I speak has brought salvation,
I find in it new powers and restoration
Although I seemed already with the dead.
Since fire by nature reaches up to heaven
I may, through it, be reconciled, forgiven,
For it must surely bear me overhead.