Poetry · World Affairs

Oh To Be A Poet

I’m still pondering on the podcast interview with Mark Oakley that I listened to on Wednesday this week. I’m challenged to read more poetry, which I don’t find easy.

So, one of the things that Mark Oakley was saying is to do with the importance of language and using language carefully. He talked about the role of poets, prophets,* preachers, and protesters, and the need for a ‘poetic imagination’ to be more visible in the public square. He sees that we are in a very troubling time, when the rise of right wing politics is a threat to the health of many peoples. Now is the time for Christians to join with all people of all faiths or no faith to speak out against injustice, discrimination, hatred, bigotry and prejudice.

Here’s something written by a Greek poet that has been helpful to all sorts of groups who struggle against injustice. It goes something like this:

“‘They buried us, but they didn’t know we were seeds. ‘”

The quote comes from poet Dinos Christianopoulos, who was sidelined by the Greek literary community in the 1970s because he was gay.

It reminds me of another saying – “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church”

I have always found reading poetry difficult. I’m much more drawn to narrative and story telling, but the language of poetry has something special that I need more of.

I was watching the cosmos flowers blowing in the wind this morning. So beautiful.

The wind gently blows
flowers bend their heads
breath of God on me
Shape me as you will

*The word ‘prophet’ is a tricky one. I’ll have to write more about that. Being prophetic is about discerning what is really going on. (Not so much about foretelling the future, although that might be a part of it)