The clear expression of mixed feelings


Here’s a rare thing–a secret about myself that I have not yet disclosed on this blog. I am a poet.

I fell in love with poetry as a little girl. I loved the images it made in my head, and the startling flashes of insight it gave me. But most of all, I loved the sound of the words in my mouth. Memorizing poetry became a habit, and a weapon against my recurring insomnia. I don’t know that I ever made it to the end of Paul Revere’s Ride without falling asleep.

At a used book sale once, my resourceful homeschooling parents picked up a copy of Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense. It’s a high school textbook, full of the minutiae the boring English teacher tries to cram into his students at the beginning of the movie Dead Poets’ Society. You know, all the facts and terms and analysis that are supposed to kill people’s love of literature. Only they didn’t kill mine. They woke it up. I could not get enough of synecdoche, dactyls, and onomatopoeia. I read and loved the poetry section of that book to death. I was fascinated not only by the poetry itself, but by all the elements that made it up–the nuances of sound and image and meaning that turned common words into art.

Once I’d been reading for awhile, I started writing. It made sense in my family. My grandma wrote poetry. My dad wrote poetry. So I wrote poetry. I’ve always been a little shy of other people reading it, though. So mostly my poems sit in folders in my closet or on my computer, and in my head, where I keep them filed shyly next to Millay, Neruda, and Shakespeare.

A couple of weeks ago, though, I decided I would start posting some of my religious poetry on Times & Seasons. Mostly because I’ve been a slacker permablogger there lately, except when I get in a bad mood and decide to write something controversial, and then end up having an emotional breakdown over the resulting disagreeable comments. People don’t tend to complain about poetry, or even to disagree with it. Because disagreeing with a poem is like disagreeing with a painting.

So if you’re not a regular reader at Times & Seasons, feel free to pop over and check out some of my poetry. For each poem, I’ve written an accompanying post, not to explain the poem really, but to talk about the context and some of the issues in the poem itself. Although as always, it’s just another illustration of the fact that it takes ten times as many words in prose to say far less than one poem.

I’ve posted three so far, and intend to continue the series for awhile, until I get bored, or someone actually does complain, or I run out of poetry.

Bread of Life

Living Waters

The Lost Sheep

Enjoy, and feel free to let me know what you think.

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3 thoughts on “The clear expression of mixed feelings

  • June 4, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    I especially liked Living Waters.

  • May 27, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks, Susanne. Tears are pretty much the ultimate affirmation for a poet.

  • May 26, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Beautiful! I have tears rolling down my face. Thank you for sharing such lovely poems and articles. Post the links to the others if you share more over there. I don’t regularly read Times & Seasons, but I’d love to read more of your stuff.


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