When I need to dance in
wonder, I often turn to poetry familiar and unfamiliar, poets that are
well-known and ones I cherish and wish the world knew better. I love poetry
that is angry and tattered, lean as rusted wire, and lush oases of celebration.
It is often hard poetry, because I have my sorrows for the world and sometimes
am unable to speak it. But the prophet poet gives me voice as assuredly as a
psalm. Poets deal out images and songs that capture the ephemeral ineffable,
the wonder of wonders, the silence in sorrow.
The poetry I love best is filled with chromatic words, saturated in color, layered in emotion. Helene Johnson, who created that beautiful phrase, chromatic words, is one of the poets I appreciate and wish more people cherished. Check her out some day, especially her poems, “Let Me Sing My Song” and “A Moment of Dignity”. There are parables upon parables in those poems.
There’s so much wonderful poetry that is being written right this
minute, right here in Florida. How could I not laugh with joy and recognition
and go to ponder self and emptiness all over again when I read Denise Duhamel’s
“Buddhist Barbie”? How could I not reflect on both woundedness and parent-child
relationships with Michael Hettich’s “The Father”?
These are but two among many.
Here’s a challenge for your heart and spirit this week: seek out a poet new to you, one whose words invite you into the dance of wonder. Share that poet with someone else (even here in the comments). You may encounter some poems that leave you cold, but then, that’s part of life’s adventure. And then, when you meet a poem that takes you on a new journey or accompanies you on your current way? Ah, that’s the thrilling wonder and joy that makes the quest so very worthwhile.