Monday, August 27, 2012

The Day I Traded Work for Poetry

I was supposed to get some work done today (i.e. work that actually pays), but reading the poetry of Mary Oliver and Louis Gluck this morning seemed to have awakened the dormant poet within me.  When writers hear the metaphorical "siren's call", they have to write or the words are lost forever.  So I packed up my "real work" for a while and decided to write poetry today.

Suggested steps in reading poetry:

Read slowly and let each word roll in your mouth before swallowing.
Let the whole thing dwell where your heart beats.
Somewhat, but not all together forget.
One of these days, start again.

Reading Poetry

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world  and lose his soul? - Mark 8:36

Reading poetry
is writing a poem
in your heart --

letting it beat into consciousness
and pour freely into the nothingness
of your very being.

It is finding your soul again,
becoming Love again
as you are when you see
with faith and are born again.

Reading poetry is renewing
oneness with what is Sacred --

you know joy;
you expect Grace

You breathe and awaken
to what had long been forgotten.


Viktor Shklovskly would say that poetic language defamiliarizes common things. It lets us look at this seemingly mundane world with fresh eyes. Sometimes faith seems boring compared to the lures of the world, and I pray that God will pour Himself out on me again in all His poetic splendor. I pray that I'll be reworked and reworded by grace to become His poetry.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us... John 1:14

By Richard Lyall from