Almanac Poetry: The Quest of the Holy Grail – in a Nutshell

Sir Galahad, the Quest for the Holy Grail, by Arthur Hughes, oil on canvas on panel, 1870. (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)


The Quest of the Holy Grail – in a Nutshell


The country has fallen into wickedness.
Arthur, its King,
sends a group of knights
on a quest to obtain a wonderful thing,
a Holy Grail that will rid the place
of its grave afflictions
– crops will once again flourish,
people will resume being good,
et cetera, et cetera.
By way of their flaws,
most knights fail.
Except for a few;
one, Galahad,
a Christ-like figure,
too good to be true;
another, Lancelot, flawed carnally
– in that respect, at least,
a credible human being.
After years of battles, prophesying monks
and much multi-level symbolism,
the successful questers obtain a vision
of the wonderful Grail.
But God doesn’t let them have it:
the country is too sinful to be saved
and it’s taken to another land.


Colossal letdown.



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Kevin Densley is a poet and writer-in-general. His work has appeared in print in Australia, the UK and the USA, as well as on many online venues. His fourth book-length poetry collection, Sacredly Profane, has just been published (late 2020) by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Recent other writing includes screenplays for educational films made for tertiary students.

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