I’ve decided to make Fridays about my favorite things, and since today is National Poetry Day, I thought I’d make talk about my favorites. In poetry that is.
While reading Meet The Austins, by Madeleine L’Engle, I was in full glory of my awkward all-elbows adolescence, when I came across this lovely verse:
“If thou couldst empty all thyself of self,
Like to a shell dishabited,
Then might He find thee on the Ocean shelf,
And say — “This is not dead,” —
And fill thee with Himself instead.
But thou art all replete with very thou,
And hast such shrewd activity,
That, when He comes, He says — “This is enow
Unto itself — ‘Twere better let it be:
It is so small and full, there is no room for Me.”
There is some confusion as to who wrote this poem. Madeleine says Sir Thomas Browne, but the internet is full of debate about this. But regardless of who wrote it, I can almost say that this has been my life poem. I’ve always wanted to empty all myself of self so that there is more room for Him, but it is a daily task, and I grow weary of it sometimes….all of this emptying and re-emptying.
Another favorite poem, again from the time that I was a school girl, is by William Carlos Williams.
The Red Wheelbarrow
so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white
I love the simple beauty the writer found in ordinary every day images. It reminds me somewhat of 1000 Gifts, because of the quest for finding unwrapped presents that our dear Ann Voskamp has endeavored to set upon us.
Which brings me to another subtopic in poetry. I. Love. Poetic. Prose. It’s my favorite thing to read these days, and Ann Voskamp is the queen of it. I also adore Emily and Rachel. Lastly I’ve found a new community of aspiring and published poets over at D’Verse. It’s a very fun place to hang out whether you like to write poetry, or only enjoy reading it.
Lastly, I will include one of the poems I’ve written.
Church In The Wild
marble grey and bleeding
Unaware of Who it is they are needing.
Dripping rain forests
lush emerald gold
Downpour weeping stories untold.
mascara lines on face,
vanished, gone without a trace.
rolling by on life’s conveyor.
calling for spirit-mouths to feed;
See right through us
fear in eyes, shot through with holes.
Flames of fire
simmer deep within
Follower’s hearts to free from sin.
trembling we cower
As if God-in-us doesn’t have the power.
Bold and aggressive,
Yet meek and mild,
We must become the Church in the Wild.
**This poem was inspired by the radically relevant teaching we have been receiving by Anthony Thompson at FHC’s Saturday Night Services.
What is your favorite poem? Or what memories do you have in connection with poetry?
30 thoughts on “Friday Favorites – Poetry”
I don’t think I ever heard that Browne poem. I’m going to spend some time with it. Love the simplicity of the wheelbarrow. But yours. Wow. We must become the Church in the Wild. Great line!
I love that you said you were going to spend some time with a poem! It personifies the writing, and that is a fun thought! Considering how I feel about your writing, (I LOVE IT) I am embarrassed to say that I’ve read your comment over and over again with blushing cheeks. Thank you kind friend.
Now I’m blushing . . .:)
Wow! I loved the poems you quoted (I remember the WCW poem from school, too!), and I’m blown away by the one YOU wrote. “We must become the Church in the Wild” – amen! Beautiful.
Thank you so much for the compliment! I’m excited that you dropped by and even tweeted about this post! 😀
the wheelbarrow poem is one of my favorites. i’m so honored to be mentioned here today friend. thank you. love e.
I’m not surprised that you like the wheelbarrow poem. It’s simply elegant beauty, just like you and your words.
oh i like the poems you shared…esp. the wheelbarrow poem left me speechless…such beauty in so few words – always amazed when poets manage to paint such vivid pictures…and thanks so much for mentioning dVerse
Claudia, I also am fascinated when a poet takes a picture with his words. Thanks for checking out this post!
Having studied Sir T.B. of my home city for over fifty years I can 100% assure you this poem is NOT by him. Please read http://penelope.uchicago.edu/false.shtml
Just lazy scholarship by Madeleine to attribute it to him and many gullible people have believed her erroneous attribution. The bad side of internet Chinese whispers being exhibited here. The language of this poem is 19th century not 17th c. but don’t take my word for it read the James Eason link.
yours tediously disenchanted with my cultural heritage being misidentified.
Thanks for setting things straight Kevin! I appreciate your 50 um…15 years of experience. 😉
Sorry , a typo here, see how easily done. I had better correct it otherwise people will believe I’ve studied Browne for 50 years when of course I mean only 15 years!
I love that first poem… What a powerful message. Your poem Church in the Wind is simply beautiful. I write myself but don’t share it very much.
Thank you for sharing and have a fabulous day 🙂
Thanks for stopping by here and for the lovely compliment.
I considered double posting on Friday because of National Poetry Day… but I didn’t want to steal the thunder from Deb! Great post.
Thanks friend! I’m excited about Friday!!
rolling by on life’s conveyor…. Wow. Your whole poem but those lines hit me hard. Thanks for sharing the other poems…D’verse poets is a great site….Wonderful, K.D.
Thanks for the encouraging words Dolly! I appreciate it. I’ve enjoyed D’verse a lot. In fact, I might be writing for the Saturday prompt this evening…if I have time before the game…
I love your poem, Church in the Wild. It’s so beautiful and true!
Thank you Ari, and I love your photos! ;D
My favourite poem is “The Road Less Traveled” by Robert Frost, it has haunted me since I first heard it in high school. Only when I became a Christian did I realize why.
Your poem reminds me of a song by Kees Krayenoord, God of the Moon and Stars. Its amazing how much we don’t see that He sees.
Robert Frost is wonderful. I’ve never heard of Kees Krayenoord. I love the name of your blog…It reminds me of the scene in Anne of Green Gables when she says that if she really wanted to talk to God, she’d go to a big open field and just feel a prayer.
This makes me wonder why I so seldom read poetry, even though I love it. Thanks for the reminder.
We all need to make a little more time for poetry, I think.
I think “Invictus” has always captured me with the strength of its words.
“Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.”
I’m not sure it is a Christian poem, but I try to keep an open mind…it doesn’t bother me to replace “gods” with God.
I agree with Michelle. “The road less traveled” on the other hand is soft, circumspect and speaks to everyone I think.
I think I shall have to reread “Invictus”, sounds haunting…I love haunting…
I LOVE the selections you chose. The Red Wheelbarrow has particular fond memories for me. I actually love to write poetry myself. I used to seek out words of others, but over the past several years when I need expression, I pull it out of my own heart. I will leave a few links for your reading enjoyment:
I am looking forward to a few extra moments so that I can read these! Thanks for coming by!
I don’t know if you memorized poems in school when you were little – but I did and I so regret that NONE of my sons ever have had to memorize anything like that:) When you put things in your heart young, it is as though they become engraved.
To be filled up – I used to wonder why He created me to be me if He just wanted to be me – does that make sense? Until I understood that without Him filling me up, I couldn’t be who He created me to be. Your shell – it mentions that – kind of like we are a red, pink, or purple balloon, or a shell – and He fills us up enable us to be who He created us to be:) Thank you for linking me over here. I love poetry, too!
The only poetry I remember memorizing is Chaucer in old English….but I still can remember it. In fact, I recently wrote a piece about Mr. Reichert the teacher who insisted on it. http://rasjacobson.com/2012/01/20/dear-mr-reichert-a-guest-post-by-kd-sullivan/ Although a rather “odd” man, he was the best teacher I have ever had. Since I teach high school Literature at my home school coop, I think of him often. Thank you for being such a faithful blogging friend. I really appreciate your kind support!