Our new issue of the Willibrord poetry pamphlet is out along with a series of talks on “Poetry and Faith” led by Kate Banks. It has been a pleasure to curate this pamphlet and have the joy of reading so many wonderful pieces.
Poetry gives me a chance to see the world for a moment through a different lens. In Kate’s ‘Poetry and Faith’ discussions she asks each of the participants a series of questions which I repeat here because they are such good questions and ones which I have never been asked before.
*Do you read poetry?
*How do you read poetry?
*In Biographia Literaria, Coleridge’s first mark of a good poem is one that is “returned to with pleasure”. What poems do you return to out of joy rather than necessity?
*Has a poem ever changed the way you think or the way you orient your life?
* What does poetry do that other forms of thinking don’t?
* Do you see a relationship or connection between poetry and your faith?
* Can you give me one or two lines of poetry that capture something vitally important for you?
* What is religious poetry?
*Have you ever written poetry?
*What kind of comparison can be drawn between poetry and prayer?
* Are there problems with reading poetry as theological thinking?
* What can poetry help us to know?
* There seems to be a natural/assumed relationship for people between poetry and mysticism in Christian tradition. How do you make sense of that relationship?
* Is poetry essential to a life of faith?
* Can you recite a poem off by heart?
* In Protagoras and The Republic, Plato sees an inherent dishonesty and misleading ambiguity in poetry and poets. Should we share his caution before thinking of poetry as a vehicle for truth?
The pamphlet did not ask for a response to these questions, but putting the pieces together, I found myself pondering the question of poetry and prayer. How language makes our world, and what world do we make with it? The different voices and reflections which these poems present is, for me, the sacred in the everyday. They give pause for reflection and snippets of them come as ear worms to my mind.
Thank you to all the contributors: