Power of Poetry

By Jody Bresch - We are a people of Tension, Disaster,Turbulence, Confrontation, Pride, Solidity, and Romance.

Somebody has to advocate for poetry in a world that walks around metaphors like they are a dreaded bacteria, something nobody wants to catch.

I'm exaggerating for the sake of poetic imagery. There are people still raving about the poetry of Bob Dylan so everybody isn't actually allergic to poetry. Maybe we've just lost sight of why poetry has always held a lofty place in this world.

I'm going to make a bold and daring statement here because I truly believe it's true. Poetry reveals the extraordinary in the ordinary. Emily Dickinson is perhaps the most world renowned poet to be born and raised, to be nurtured, to flourish in the bosom of America.

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog.
To tell your name the livelong, day
To an admiring bog!

Oddly enough, her poetry might have been lost forever if her sister hadn't discovered a drawer full of it in her room after Emily Dickinson passed from this world to the great beyond. I have four volumes of her poetry near my desk at the moment, and I confess, I haven't read it all yet.

Hope is the thing with feathers

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land.
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Emily never traveled far from home and hearth. She lived a simple life, but in poetry, Emily Dickinson both discovered and revealed the extraordinary in the ordinary. Not only does she discover it, she hammers it on the head and wraps it up in a tidy bow and hands it to us like a gift.

Poetry is an intimate language of the heart and soul. It requires us to take a second look, and a third look, and to dust if off occasionally, and to set it to a wondrous melody, and sing it as a song. Poetry asks us to rediscover it time and time again, and to understand that poetry elevates us to something more than the rest of nature, to creatures who contemplate the meaning of our existence and who crave to understand it.

Poetry is the language of love. Even in some of the harsher poetry of poets like Sylvia Plath. You have to have loved something at some time to care enough about it to genuinely hate it. Why do we still love the Biblical Psalms? Because they still delve into the problems in our lives that truly matter to us, the everyday struggles of our existence, the victories, the agonies of defeat, the jubilation of acquisition and the grief of loss.

After asking you to kneel at the throne of poetry for a brief celebration of its significance to mankind, let me share with you a poem of mine, something I hope challenges you to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.

IN THE END

darkness rises

by Jody Bresch

Like a 'glowing sun' moon
That cannot light the night,
A darkness like black velvet
Welcomes and enfolds me.
In its soft, secret places,
Spinning the golden moonbeams
Into a casket of change,
I curl into the arms
Of this cocoon of moon rays
Dreaming of wings,
Delicate as moonlight,
Fragile wings scaled with steel,
Wings that can soar to
A GOLDEN SUNRISE.

By Jody


Mars Hill Church Official Web Site Ottumwa, Iowa


The Legend of Mars Hill


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