Friday, August 04, 2006

Poems of the spiritual and religious experience... about Saturday after Good Friday...

When I first posted this poem on a workshop site (The Atlantic Writers Workshop) there was more discussion than I could imagine. This was my response to the question of "What are you doing writing this kind of poetry?"

My note to Chris about the thematic sense that urged me on to write about the hymn as my version has many dimensions. But the one that stayed foremost is described in the response on the thematic sense I saw in the goodness of God. That has personal meaning to me, and it tells me something of the nature of Christ.

That is important to me for I have God in my life, and I want that experience and reality. Call it a presence.To expand a moment, if there is a presence allowed in this effort of mine, then to the good. I think you can touch and feel what is presence, and that it is a poetic thing, too, is important. Perhaps this helps me to share the work a little more with you. Thank you again for your comments and provocations to look at what is being done by me with the exercise I created.This was a second response in the same line of discussion. Thank you for bearing with me this Good Friday as I post all of this:

This is a poem of the religious experience. I have often wondered if something like this is more religious than literary. My interest has been to stay literary with them, while being religious or spiritual. There is a very large supply of religious and spiritual poetry, and this small effort that is a kind of work copying another, though briefer and somewhat different, seems to have sparked a genuine sense that it is religious.In a way, I am flattered. I think that the personal is important, as is the individual experience, and I am glad you took the time to read the poem and note that it lacked that dimension for you as a modern thing to know.My assessment is that these are experiences that one can know and that one may also wonder about.These two comments are direct quotes from the discussion, so they have their original sponteneity.

Now, the poem:

To know something about God
by Peter Menkin, Mar 2002

With apologies to the hymn of the Syriac Church

So much grief to learn
Christ died and descended
into hell.
The vigil of Saturday
goes on. Imagination and
faith follows the journey.

He is alone in the tomb,
cold to touch.
Yet He continues.

May we with him.
He showed us God,
when he heard them cry,
"Take pity on us."

Death held no holdon Him.
He traced his nameon their heads,
those in darkness and fetters.
They belong to Him.

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