The Anathemata

Rite and Fore-time


We already and first of all discern him making this thing other. His broken syntax, if we attend, already shapes:

ADSCRIPTAM, RATAM, RATIONABILEM. . .1 and by preapplication, and for them, under modes and patterns altogether theirs, the holy and venerable hands2 lift up an efficacious sign.

David Jones notes

1 See the Roman mass, the Prayer of Consecration, beginning ‘Which oblation do thou … ascribe to, ratify, make reasonable …’

2 Cf. the same, ‘…in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas …’

additional notes


We are at Mass and the priest is saying the Prayer of Consecration at the altar (in Latin). The poem was written before the liturgical changes introduced by Vatican II which, inter alia, replaced Latin by the vernacular as the language in which the Mass was to be said. DJ hated these changes.

semantic structures