April is National Poetry Month, and I’m excited for the service our Fabulous Worship Team™ is putting together for this coming Sunday!
I love poetry. I was just listening to an interview with Amanda Gorman, the young woman who offered her brilliant poem, The Hill We Climb, at the inauguration of President Biden. She was talking about how poetry was a way for her to communicate as a child who had difficulty speaking; and how poetry is not just sweet words but a way of making meaning of our history – and offer a way forward.
There are five new books of poetry on my desk in my home office. Two are small chapbooks from Lynn Ungar, the UU minister who wrote the beautiful piece called Pandemic, which was posted everywhere and published in the New York Times. The others are lesser known – Alix Klingenburg, Lisel Mueller, Connie Wanek. While I love discovering new poetry, enjoying the use of language and the images the words bring to my mind, I also have some old favorites – Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry, Ted Kooser.
The poetry that most directly speaks to me is that which observes the ordinary. Preachers are a lot like poets in this. We’re expected to observe all that happens, to study, to react, to “pass our experience through the fire of thought,” to use Emerson’s words; and then, to offer it as a way of making meaning. Making meaning is what we do every Sunday in worship.
Be well, and stay safe everyone!
Rev. Lori Hlaban