an evening of poetry
What is it about poetry? I mean, it's still words, but someone speaking poetry doesn't seem to be participating in the words words words we are so relentlessly bombarded with ...
I've just been to Poet's Corner, which is part of the Effective Living Centre's Sacred and Creative program. (The Effective Living Centre is the main engagement with the community of Christ Church Uniting, where the Esther Project is based and where I am doing my student placement.)
Jeff Guess was the guest poet, and he spoke about the way that poetry is for him prayer - I suppose it's like the psalms, that deep, honest expression of life in its beauty and sorrow, the presence and absence of the divine.
I was speaking with one of the other participants before the program kicked off, and we were observing the way that poetry enables you to say things you can't say ordinarily, or to say things differently - like for instance those poems you write for a special birthday, which give you a bit of freedom to say some of the more cheeky things, make observations about our foibles, which ordinarily, you shy away from naming. Or in a worship space, poetry seems so appropriately to invite wonder, mystery, a discovery of meaning, without naming it for you.
The poems that were shared in the second half of the evening were such a variety of fun and love and worship ...
I so enjoyed taking a couple of hours out of the week to wonder, to imagine, to marvel at life through the eyes and poetry of others.
This is the gift of the poet - to open up the world and show it to us anew, to invite us to see, to wonder, to imagine - to pray.