Friday, April 23, 2004

National Poetry Month

April is almost over and if Librarians Index to the Internet hadn't posted a link to, I would probably have ignored this topic because the one poem I can't get out of my head right now is Tableau at Twilight by Ogden Nash. But I wouldn't mind hearing General William Booth Enters Into Heaven by Vachel Lindsay again or Creation by James Weldon Johnson

Anyway, I searched the site using the words "christian," "religion," "catholic," and "protestant," and was surprised to find the variety of differences in authors who were retrieved. John Donne did not appear with the word "christian," but he did under all the other terms. A word to the wise...

There are also other links which would supplement the above site. Good Morals :born again black poetry highlights the work of 20 black poets. and The Fellowship of Christian Poets contains information for current writers, and its poem of the month page is definitely a current writer.

However, if you have suffered through the poems read during a service, you will appreciate the site on guide to reading poetry. Please Please learn to read poetry correctly!

And for those who want prose about poetry, Allan Roy Andrews, a high school teacher, wrote an excellent analysis, Teaching Poetry as an Outlaw and Heretic" of the condition of poetry in the United States and identifies the main problem with evangelical Christian poetry:
"Even in the evangelical Christian world in which I work, poetry largely is disdained unless it runs toward greeting card verse with some sort of evangelistic witness to a sinful world or chronicles the sinner-ego emphasis of a contemporary praise chorus. Check the popular literature of contemporary evangelical Christianity. I can’t recall the last time Christianity Today published a contemporary poem (in any of its stable of publications) or that World magazine interviewed a working poet. This seems a rather disjointed phenomenon, given that The Bible, the book on which evangelicalism asserts its rootedness, contains vast sections of poetry in its Old Testament. And some of Christianity’s most theologically rich poetic words crop out of the New Testament."

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