The World Needs Poets…

“The world needs poets!” That may be construed as a bold assertion by some, a statement of the obvious by others, or an irrelevant waste of words by still others. I stand by my words; however, because among all humanity, it is the poets who truly communicate. Let me elaborate:

  • Engineers must crunch numbers, but it is the poet’s words in the briefing that delicately present the findings…
  • Politicians must write laws, but it is the poet’s words in the courtroom that convince the jury…
  • Educators must teach the facts, but is the poet’s words in the mnemonic that children remember years later…
  • Generals must create war plans, but it is the poet’s words in the trenches that inspire men to die…
  • Theologians must parse verbs, but it is the poet’s words in sermon and song that remain in parishioners ears…

Academics typically snub their noses at poets.

Can one imagine a poetry blog at Southern Seminary, where I attended? Too flaky for prim and proper scholars…even Baptists, especially Calvinists. That’s too bad, because hearers are much more likely on Monday to remember the words to yesterday’s hymns than the intricate explanation of the nuances of the second aorist passive tense in Greek.

Can one perchance find a poetry reading group at NASA, where I work? Not on your life! Again it’s unfortunate because the American people might really get into the adventure of space exploration if presented to us in something other than jargon-filled, engineering prose.

In other words, we must encourage the poets among us and nurture the poet within us. This is necessary in all aspects of life but especially in the real of our faith. To quote J.D. Walt of the Asbury Seminary poetry blog:

Poets must be encouraged for with a mere handful of words they subvert the world order. Is it any wonder our poets are the most dangerous liaisons of the Kingdom? Poets take words to their highest power. Like chemists experimenting in the lab, poets combine words into combusting compositions. Theologians laboriously wrestle with words to describe, define and delineate the qualities and character of God. Poets train words to dance in the declaration of God’s glory. They craft cathedrals with words. And when poems burst into song the world joins the dance.

Yes! Exactly! He gets it! The ‘most dangerous liasons of the Kingdom,’ precisely because they capture the imagination and fan into flames the passion of the human heart…all of which is possible with theological precision and correctness, I might add. And so, I will begin to take a weekly break from my usual prose and post some creative verse–some original and some borrowed / some classic and some contemporary…all to inspire and enjoy, and we’ll see where it takes us!

One thought on “The World Needs Poets…

  1. Looks like Ali has inspired you! Wonder where she gets her creative writing skills….. Couldn’t be from dear ol’ dad??? 🙂

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