I believe that God can flow out of a pen.
I believe that God calls us to live interesting and meaningful lives, not balanced ones. I believe in the potential that arises from conversation. I believe in hyacinths. I also believe in the transcending power of grace and, that if we really want to understand God, we need to talk to poets.
The definition of what poetry is varies. “A poem begins with a lump in the throat,” said Robert Frost. According to Carl Sandburg, “Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance,” and Marianne Moore defines poetry as “Imaginary gardens with real toads in them.”
Poets thrive in Sabbath, where time, space and matter unfold in a holy fashion. Poets don’t carry umbrellas and never speak in “therefores.”
Those who are thinking about church and planning its future could probably use a bit more poetry.
Robert Browning was convinced that “God is the perfect poet.” I don’t know if that’s true. I do know this poet-God should be evoked in more sanctuaries. Poetry thrives on mystery. So does any good liturgy and all great devotion.
I subscribe to The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. Each morning, I’m greeted by a poem in my inbox, an act which in and of itself feels like a small moment of daily grace. I usually find myself wanting the poems to deliver great meaning to my day. But they tend to just make me pause, and sometimes smile.
Joesph Joubert said, “You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you,” and I think that is probably true.
I’m not sure what the church would look like if it was crammed with poetic intention. Part of me is convinced that beauty, creativity, spookily authentic emotion, and dramatic license would flourish in astonishing ways. But that’s my rhyme and reason. Each person, I’m sure would bring their own meter and schemes to set the cross upon.
I’m not sure why poetry is missing from religion today. I do know we’re a little less for it’s absence. Salman Rushdie said, “A poet’s work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.
Amen. Let the ink flow.