Easter Wings

Easter Wings Themes

Felix culpa

A major theme of the poem is the theological concept of felix culpa, or the “fortunate fall.” The idea is that mankind’s fall, caused by Adam and Eve’s eating of the Tree of Knowledge, was actually fortunate in that it made the Resurrection possible. Without the fall, Christ would not have come to earth to redeem mankind. In this sense, the poem works to justify pain, suffering, and illness as necessary experiences.


The poem discusses resurrection both in the sense of Christ’s rising from the dead, but also in terms of humanity’s overcoming of sin. The theme of resurrection is expressed through metaphors related to wings, birds, flying, and heights.

Parallel histories

Easter Wings” tells three stories at once. It describes mankind’s happy creation, its descent into sin, and its redemption through Christ. It also describes the speaker’s own process moving from birth to pain to redemption. Both of these narratives mirror Christ’s own narrative. The poem suggests that divine and earthly history mirror each other.