A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds; his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whense or why.Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “A Defence of Poetry”
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” is the opening line of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities. Setting the stage of the book is the French Revolution, both before and during, in Paris and London.
Roughly 230 years ago, a European country had a revolution.
Today another revolution is touching all areas on the globe, and with few exceptions, no one is exempt from the blazing news cycle of events.
On a personal scale, moving to Oregon taught me the true meaning of the A Tale of Two Cities quote. Clarity (and a bit of anger) replaced pain and confusion, with beauty driving the day to day wheels. I did not chose the consequences of moving here, but here I believe I was sent for such a time as this. How that plays out in the weeks ahead is my guess, but I know Who holds my future.
As Gandalf said in The Lord of the Rings, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
And as the Bible would say, “On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days So that we won’t take anything for granted.”
Nothing in this world is impossible to a willing heart.Abraham Lincoln
However confused the scene of our life appears, however torn we may be who now do face that scene, it can be faced, and we can go on to be whole.Muriel Rukeyser
Quotes from Jan Karon’s A Continual Feast
While searching for a word meaning in Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, I came across the word poet. In the New Testament section, the word means “a maker,” and was later used as a “doer.” The classical Greeks used it to refer to any author, but especially to a “poet.”
John Drury, author of the po·e·try dic·tion·ar·y, defines it as “One who creates poems, or one who has created them, or one who thinks or feels like a poet … or one who prepares to write poems or attempts writing them or otherwise stays alert for words, images, and experiences that might coalesce into the nucleus of a poem.” Other nationalities have different words for poet. And not everyone thinks highly of poets; e.g., poetaster is a term of ridicule.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition, defines (I will use the second definition as the first is obvious and not as poetic) poet as “one (as a creative artist) of great imaginative and expressive capabilities and special sensitivity to the medium.”
My personal definition of poet is a state of mind, connecting and associating things in metaphorical language to convey an idea, feeling, or image. It is the soul part of my personality, wanting to break free from my state of silence. It is my beautiful Oregon geography which supplies me with multiple ideas. It is communication with the Holy Spirit, who creates dreams and visions for me to scan for meaning and wisdom.
Who is the Master Poet? God, who used His imagination to create the heavens and the earth. Then created man in His likeness to co-create with Him.
Prayer is not a ladder we build to the heavens; rather, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it, prayer is God’s work in us. When we do not turn away from God in times of distress or confusion, I believe it is also an indication that God has not turned away from us. When a person prays or just looks longingly in a heavenward direction, even though she may feel abandoned, her prayer is an indication of God’s ongoing presence.The Listening Life by Adam S. McHugh