Turning-Point Poetry

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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L.L. here, with Random Acts of Poetry. Remembering a question. "Why did they do that?" she asked. My Littlest was musing about the origins of the song Ring Around the Rosie and wondering why people would write a song about The Plague. "Maybe kids wrote it," I said. "You never know how kids will respond to something." She sat quietly for a minute, then tipped her head and looked up. "Maybe they did it to remember." It's interesting to consider why we write poetry (some set to song). This same Little daughter recently wrote me a poem one day when I was quite sad. I turned her words over and over in my mind, and in one of those rare parenting moments I thought, "I've done something right. My daughter just responded to pain with poetry." How do you respond to turning points in your life? To pain or unexpected joy? Mary, the mother of Jesus, responded in poetry when she met her cousin Elizabeth, and the truth of what was inside Mary caused a literal stir (John the Baptist "leapt" in the womb upon hearing her voice). Said Mary, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant..." And so forth. In one spontaneous poem based partly on the Psalms, Mary remembers, rejoices, glorifies, fights, hopes. This is turning-point poetry, come down through the ages. We might be tempted to skim past Mary's poem, get on with the story. Indeed, I bet most of us generally have. Except my colleague Scot McKnight. One day he read this poem to a class and asked the question, "What kind of woman would sing a song like this when Herod was on the throne?" From that moment on, Scot had to know the answer. His book The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus is that answer and more. Right now, I've decided to give away a copy of The Real Mary. Just stop in to see why and leave a comment to enter the giveaway that honors Scot's words about Mary's poem. ------ Poetry prompt: I love the title of Scot's book... The Real Mary. It questions. It promises. Why not try your hand at a "The Real ....." poem. Give us your take on the real Jonah, the real Noah, or maybe the real Cleopatra or You. Post your offering by Thursday, October 8, for definite links and possible feature. Please drop your link here, to make sure I see it. "Grace Revisited" art, Mineral Pigments and Gold on Kumohada Paper, (c) copyright Makoto Fujimura, 2002. Used with permission from Makoto Fujimura. Also available on Grace Note Cards at the International Arts Movement Store. Post written by L.L. Barkat. All RAP Participants Maureen’s Neruda, and On Any Given Day Glynn’s Walking in Mr. Berry’s Woods and Sunday Morning Rain and Early Sunday Morning Joelle’s More Holy Cindy’s Like the Whitecap Kelly’s The Last Day nAncY's in love