“Something Tried to Damn Us”: Diminishing God and Deifying Love

David Matias Close Up 1

Matias Speaking at Harvard Summer Course, 1995 

David Matias’s relationship with religion was complex and ever-evolving. His poetry reflects a prolonged struggle to reconcile his desire for spiritual fulfilment with his early understanding of the Christian God and other believers. “Pageant” and “Decorating Philosophy” play upon the impressions of his youth, analyzing elements of Christian celebration that seem to artificialize faith. The young poet’s association of Christianity with falsity demonstrates his growing estrangement from organized religion. Later, this disillusionment turned into resentment. His poems “Jesus in a Three Piece Suit” and “It’s Not the Devil” critique traditionalist Christian ideology as hypocritical. Matias rejected the narrow-minded attitudes of those who targeted his creative and romantic pursuits on religious grounds. Disavowing a god that would allow such cruelty, Matias abandoned his Christian faith, instead embracing the notion of divinity as physical love. He regarded his lovers as his true saviors, and found emotional resolution at the intersection of sex and spirituality. The poems “Restorer” and “Come and Go” imply that ultimate spiritual satisfaction arose not through submission to a distant, disdainful god, but through the consecration of love.

Dawning Disillusionment

Fomenting Frustration

The Creator's Curse

Anulling the Divine

Exaltation in Ecstasy