Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Familiar Theme

Best Poem in the World1 (Unknown Author)

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven's door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp--
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Bob, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged the angel2, 'What's the deal?
I would love to hear your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here?
God must've made a mistake.3

'And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber - give me a clue.'
'Hush, child,' it4 said,
'they're all in shock.
No one thought they'd be seeing you.

1 I have no idea why it's called this. I hardly think it can be called the best poem in the world.

2 Originally said Jesus. Never liked him very much, so I changed it. And for goodness sake, this newly entered-to-heaven guy is 'nudging' him?!

3 God can't make mistakes... Ever. That I decided to leave in the poem. Not sure why one and not the other, but I can never figure out how my mind works so why start now?

4 Originally said He. For the feminists out there, I made the angel an it. Actually, no. But I think I saw somewhere that there are heavenly female somethings, and I wanted there to be no question of 'He' being a reference to God.

This poem is awesome. Not for the message, which is excellent, as it's not a revelation to us. The ambiguity of it is amazing. Is he in Heaven and the rest are with him all with their own complaints against him and surprised to see him there? Or is he in Hell after misreading the big letters above 'Heaven's Door' and everyone is surprised because they thought he was so great? Mind warp.


  1. Whoa. This is fantastic. For one, it's extremely well written... and chilling. Truly chilling.
    We think we know it all... then bam!

  2. Or maybe the point is that we all judge everyone else and think we're better than them? He didn't think he'd see these "sinners" in heaven, and they didn't think they'd see him?

    1. Thanks Rachelli, I read it a few times because I was so taken in by it.

      SPDR, thanks for the comment. I agree that's the main point of the poem. I'm suggesting that it's possible to interpret it in an additional manner, in that it seems that the writer is implying that they're all in Heaven but it can also be understood that they're all in Hell.