Thursday, June 11, 2015

We Are God's Poeima: Poetry and the Human Person

Photo by DeduloPhotos,
In the midst of novel-writing, volunteering for the Catholic Writers Guild, and starting to prepare for a freshman year of college which seems threateningly close, I find I have neglected my own blog (again) for a full two weeks. Sadly, I still haven't time to make a proper post! In lieu of that, however, I will share a couple of related links I've found over the past few weeks, on that favorite subject of mine--poetry-philosophy-theology.

The first is a video series called For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles. The best description I can make of this is that it's a sort of modern, film equivalent of Mere Christianity. While I have not been able to buy the entire series, the trailers look excellent--a straightforward and fervent, contemporary and beautifully artistic exploration of what it really means to be a Christian today. Evan Koons, the creator of the series, also has a Youtube channel with a vlog where he posts numerous other beautiful and insightful bonus videos. They are all worth watching, but today I'd like to draw your attention to the one below. Do not be deceived by the informal and humorous opening--it becomes stunningly profound.

The same afternoon after I had watched this video (and was still rather giddy with the beauty and holy thrill of it), I had picked up my latest issue of Dappled Things Magazine and flipped open a random page--the middle of an essay by Ryan Wilson called "How To Think Like a Poet". To my astonishment, my eyes fell upon a paragraph in which the author made reference to the exact same passage from Ephesians that Mr. Koons had in the video above; "we are His poeima."
I had encountered the exact same spiritual concept in virtually identical words from two different sources in the span of two hours. Usually when that happens I know the Holy Spirit's up to something. By the time I had read the essay from beginning to end, I felt as if my brain were on fire with enthusiasm and excitement. I have read and thought a good deal about the purpose and craft of poetry (not to mention writing some of my own), but this essay beautifully pulled together the most important concepts into an integrated whole. Read it here on the Dappled Things website. It is not a quick read, but for anyone with any serious interest in poetry, art, and the philosophy (and theology!) behind it, I would strongly urge you to set aside some time to carefully read the entire thing.
The work of Mr. Koons and Mr. Wilson is, I think, far more edifying than anything I could write on short notice. Explore, enjoy it, and then go out and be God's poetry!