Triquetra (symbol of the Trinity) in pastel colours against a dark background. Text: Three limericks on the Trinity. Faith in Grey Places.

Three limericks on the Trinity (a poem)

Something a little more light-hearted this week. 

It’s said that Trinity Sunday is also called ‘Heresy Sunday’ because so many ‘explanations’ on the Trinity fall into one heresy or another. 

Skip to the poems

The one I heard growing up was that of H2O: when frozen, it’s ice; when liquid it’s water, when it’s gas it’s steam. But this implies God is one person manifest in three forms – rather than three persons in one God. So it doesn’t work. Joey Echano has a nice blog post that goes into this and the problems of some other analogies.

The paradox of the Trinity is that the three persons are all God and yet distinct — and yet not distinct. I don’t know. As Augustine said of the unity of the Trinity (and he was the one who came up with the doctrine in the first place): 

in no other subject is error more dangerous, or inquiry more laborious, or the discovery of truth more profitable.[1]

So today I’ve written three short poems; they’re all kind of the same and yet not the same (did you see what I did there?).

I am enjoying writing these and before I’m done I hope to have written an acrostic poem, some haikus and a concrete poem (in the shape of something). I also want to dabble with some blackout poetry. 

Meanwhile, enjoy these. 


Three limericks on the Trinity

Student #1

I wanted to study the Trinity
For my PhD in divinity.
But my little grey cells
Were unable to delve
The mysteries of triune infinity. 

Student #2

They say don’t say much on the Trinity
Lest you show a human affinity
For getting it wrong.

Student #3

Whenever you ponder the Trinity
Keep wisdom in your vicinity,
For these masters of art
Only show you their heart
When you cloak yourself with all humility.


[1] De Trinitate, Book 1, Chapter 3, 5. Translation by Arthur West Haddon available on Logos Library: http://www.logoslibrary.org/augustine/trinity/0103.html

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