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Month: June 2020

God and Creativity

In 1963, Joseph Brodsky was charged by his native country, Russia, of “social parasitism.” During his trial, the judge asked him who enrolled him in the ranks of poet and translator, since he did not have a high school education. His reply got him sent to internal exile. His response:

I didn’t think this was a matter of education, Brodsky said. I thought it came from God.

Since God is the creator of art, and mankind is made in His image, our genes of art are passed on from Father to His children. Some refer to the Muse as being their inspiration, as in the nine Greek Muses of mythology, or some other entity, perhaps evil in nature. After Jesus ascended to Heaven, He said it was better that He go, so the Holy Spirit could empower us to live what I would paraphrase as a creative life.

When I sometimes get a Holy Spirit idea, it is just the idea, and He wants me to worship through fleshing out this idea. A co-creation. Sometimes I ask Him for ideas on my own. But it is still up to me to write and edit it through to completion.

When I moved here to Oregon several years ago, I was ready to start a new life, a new writing life. And the beauty of where I live, started me to do just that. Despite the obstacles, to write.

Poets are not pariahs. Without art, or beauty, our lives would be dull, drab, utilitarian, and even perhaps evil.

FaithPoetryWriting

Memorizing Poetry

One of the few things I remember from 5th grade was reciting a poem from memory. I chose Psalms 100 – this dates me because I am sure this would not be allowed without a fight nowadays.

Memorizing poetry or scripture can be closer than the tips of your fingers. An immediate source of comfort when fear or anxiety strikes.

Poets.org has a few tips for memorization and many good poems to choose from, citing many sonnets because they are rhythmic and short.

And my scandalous book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature (one blurb: “The greatest English literature is explicitly Christian and celebrates military courage”), has a section on the whys and wherefores of memorizing poetry. “Instead of being bored out of your mind when you’re waiting in line to renew your driver’s license, you’ve got a collection of museum-quality art in your own head, and you can look at it at your leisure.”


Psalms 100 KJV
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God:
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.

FaithPoetry

Deer Season

You allowed me to be bound
like a deer caught in a trap.
You clung to Me in your wrestling,
though bloodied.

You dazed me with your headlights,
answering:
You don’t know what you’re asking…
Knowledge was the vehicle
that would have blindsided you.

You drove me to admonish,
though I derided them.
You warned those with
dark hearts and dull ears.

You sprung the traps,
calling the season finished,
though I have failed.
Arise, shake the dust off your feet.
You can’t save
what doesn’t want
to be saved.

My poems

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