Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Question Spiritual Aspects Of Poetry

Often when writing poetry, the writer feels a sense of "tapping into a
source." The sensation is as if something larger than you is actually giving
you the words to put down on the page or keyboard. The favored manner of
writing differs from author to author, and really is irrelevant for the
purpose of this discussion. Many times when writing under this "spell" or
"trance" state, for lack of better words, and author feels they have written
some of the most important and profound writing.

Another interesting phenomenon that I have noticed in such instances is that
usually two or three other poets at the boards I post to will write on very
similar themes when I feel this happen. Most often it is two other poets,
and it seems to happen with three of us at a time.

Another area of interest is the concept of prayers through poetry, or as
poetry. I would like to investigate this type of poetic expression in my own
writing, and to hear from others if they use the same technique. I have
written a few poems of my heartfelt wishes in the past with lines like
"releasing prayers to electronic winds." I wondered even back then if poetry
could be used as a request for spiritual energy, for the feelings and
desires of readers to resonate with the request inherent in a poem. In
effect, the reader is "speaking the word to God for the writer" by
sympathizing with the poem's emotional content. Readers of Florence Scovel
Shinn's work "Wisdom" will have a deeper understanding of the subject I am

Could wide-spread poetry be used to bring the energies of peace, love, and
prosperity to a wider group of people? Certainly writings in the Bible's
last books, as well as things such as Norse mythology's Ragnarok and others
have brought a view of a cataclysmic end to the world into the larger
consciousness of mankind. Writing of any nature can do this. Writing of a
spiritual nature may in some way alter the universe we inhabit by altering
our basic beliefs about the universe we inhabit at a very deep level. Modern
physics touches on the possibility, theorizing that the universe exists out
of unlimited probability streams because we observe it to exist. The Bible
says in one part that "He who believes enough can move a mountain." and that
we should give thanks to God as if what we ask is already granted. Some
modern preachers warn us that the words we speak to ourselves are also heard
by God, and we can speak ourselves into trouble or into joy.

This raises many questions about poetry, and how it might be put to use to
bring positive spiritual energy to a large group of people. If this is true,
and possible, then poets bear a heavy responsibility for the visions they
craft and display. Perhaps it is time we poets as a sub-culture examine this
aspect of our art in detail. Certainly the world could use all the positive
spiritual energy that can be found in these times. It seems that the world
is at a turning point and the focal point of this is here in the United
States, in the ideology and path we choose to follow going forward. There is
a great rift in this country in view point at this time. Could the gentler,
kinder side of poetry be utilized to help heal this to some extent? Could we
possibly write our way to a somewhat better world?

Please address any comments on this topic to the e-mail link at the top of
this blog. I would like to deepen this discussion if possible.