Brendan McRae, ‘Ode to Odium’

It seems like fall weather has finally come into New England, and with it the kind of dreary autumn rains. Today makes a good day for Brendan McRae’s poem, “Ode to Odium,” which he read for us during the spring semester. “Ode to Odium” can be found on page 49 of volume 14, and can be read below the cut.

Ode to Odium

The seed of Hatred has long since sprouted in the cavity of my chest,
once rooted, it spreads like ivy over every pumping vein.
It has grown to maturity, like a fine vintage.
Upon fermentation, I have been able to distill Odium,
so that I may bottle it and imbibe its sweet, inebriating nectar.
Hatred cannot be effaced; it can only be mastered and manipulated.
Hatred cannot yield to forgiveness of the impenitent recidivist.
Satan, Beelzebub, and Lucifer are the synonymous emblems
of Repulsion, Revulsion, and Rebellion
they are ineluctably linked–
positioned at the antipode
of all that is deemed divine.

One must render this beast servile – become the alpha of oneself.
Odium is not exclusively insidious, for it is a condition of nature.
Retribution is the child of Hatred; Revenge: our inborn pleasure.
Upon perfidious perdition, the soul is supplanted with Antipathy.
Hate once harnessed can mutate into love.
Abhorrence can be channeled into motivation, growth, progress.
The all-consuming product of pain
may be alloyed with righteousness
to weld and smith a steel-like compound.
Its chemical composition is unstable,
and therefore alterable.

An element unlike any other;
a substance of purity rivaled only by its antithesis.
The answer lies between two polar paradigms
in the amalgamation of each.
In the polymerization of God and Devil.


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