In the comment thread to the post below my friend Richard pointed me in the direction of Arthur Hugh Clough, a 19th century poet, writer and intellectual (in the best sense of that poor gang-banged word) who appears to have spent his all-too-short life concentrating on the great unanswered, and perhaps unanswerable, questions of existence. Richard recommended one of his poems entitled Easter Day (Naples 1849) in which Clough repeats and repeats and repeats the maxim that "Christ is not risen". Except that in the very last line at the end of his long poem he surreptitiously but quite deliberately adds a crucial and doubt-inducing question mark:
Christ is not risen?
I think I prefer another of his poems which is shorter and which just about sums up my own confusions on the issue:
To Spend Uncounted Years of Pain
To spend uncounted years of pain
Again, again, and yet again
In working out in heart and brain
The problem of our being here,
To gather facts from far and near
Upon the mind to hold them clear,
And knowing more may yet appear
Until one's latest breath to fear
The premature result to draw -
Is this the object, end, and law,
And purpose of our being here?
I cannot, in all honesty, say that I have suffered "uncounted years of pain" struggling with these conundrums of human existence, more like being mildly irritated from time to time by a tiny bit of grit in my shoe which I never seem quite able to shake out once and for all. Still, I am very grateful to have come across Arthur Hugh Clough, a man worth studying - so thanks Richard!
CORRECTION: Richard's comment below made me check again and indeed the site I went to via Google with a copy of the poem did show a question mark at the end of the last line but checking one or two others, they did not! Pity because in a way that would have made it a more intriguing poem. Even so, a very interesting man.