Thursday, March 22, 2007

Returning to myself

Tonight was the Lent talk I was fretting about on poetry as part of a series "Lent and the Arts", offered by a neighbouring parish.
When the publicity mailing came round, I very nearly fled the country as the line-up consisted of 4 emminent and erudite persons, each speaking on their particular area of expertise - and me.
For heaven's sake, I was the only one listed who wasn't a Canon of Glouceste!
However, by dint of sheer determination I reminded myself that I surely loved poetry just as much as anyone loved anything, and that I really did have things I wanted to share. I then spent my day off shut in the study surrounded by endless collections of glory...and delivered the result tonight.
And when it came to it went down a treat, actually.

Given that really all you can do with poetry is talk - read it to them, talk about it, talk around it...I was half expecting people to drop off.
Cosy church.
March evening.
Dim lights.
What would you do?
But they attended. Most beautifully.
I read them a poem by Rowan Williams, - Jerusalem Limestone - and invited them to close their eyes and let text draw them into the wilderness landscape.
Mine were the only eyes that remained open.
I read them a meditation from Mucky Paws about sand, and one woman spoke to me afterwards about the words, all the while rubbing thumb and forefinger together as if she were running invisible grains of sand between her fingers.
At the end, there might have been questions but the vicar asked us to stay silent, to reflect, and it was very good.

It was also hugely helpful to me as a reminder that I love poetry with a passion and that though I may no longer harbour ambitions to complete my PhD, I do still know my the point of the PhD in the first place...

Let me tell you what Sue Monk Kidd has to say on the subject of poetry and the Journey
"“I’ m discovering that a spiritual journey is a lot like a poem. You don't merely recite a poem or analyze it intellectually. You dance it, sing it, cry it, feel it on your skin and in your bones. You move with it and feel its caress. It falls on you like a teardrop or wraps around you like a smile. It lives in the heart and the body as well as the spirit and the head.”
Poetry is something to warm your hands around on a chilly spring evening.
In a few months it will be the lilac scented warmth of a summer evening.
It works to forge emotional connection
But either way, it points, sacramentally, to something beyond itself...and its signing is a language that speaks to me.


Songbird said...

Wish I could have been there to hear you!

sushil yadav said...

There is more emotion in poetry because there are very few words in poems - this causes a slowing down of mind. There are very few words in prayer too. Poetry and prayer brings us closer to spirituality. In this context I want to post a part from my article which examines the impact of speed, overstimulation and industrialization on our minds and environment. The article also explains why poets and artists feel more emotion than non-artists.Please read.

The link between Mind and Social / Environmental-Issues.

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment.

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.
Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.
Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.

Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.

A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety.

Fast visuals/ words make slow emotions extinct.

Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys emotional circuits.

A fast (large) society cannot feel pain / remorse / empathy.

A fast (large) society will always be cruel to Animals/ Trees/ Air/ Water/ Land and to Itself.

To read the complete article please follow either of these links :




jo(e) said...

I love this post. I agree with you and Sue Monk Kidd ....