A few years ago, a group of us at work met to compare poems and art. And now, one of those poems is up at Escape into Life: go here to read it. You'll need to scroll down to get to my poem.
It's part of a great feature, poems and art for Valentine's Day. Last week's installment was wonderful too.
When I think about the writing process of that poem, I don't think about words. I remember it as the time when our Pam Reagan, our visual artist friend, showed us a mask. When she said mask, I thought Mardi Gras and two dimensions. She told us that she had broken glass Christmas ornaments, but I thought she had laid them flat.
I was not prepared for this:
When I read the poem, I see the elements of the piece in the poem, particularly in these images:
"You envisioned the Mardi Gras mask"
"the glittered borders"
But I no longer remember how I came to use the idea of a rosary, of deconstructing sacred relics to repair a heart:
"You didn’t realize you would need to deconstruct
your rosary to have a sturdy
thread to stitch your heart
back together. But here you sit embroidering
fancy patterns with beaded embellishments."
It feels somewhat sacrilegious to me, yet I know that it's sound theology of a sort.
Is it my theology? No. I didn't intend it as theology--I save that writing for other outlets. But I do love the imagery, and I don't feel that I've used it in a profane way. It may not be sacred, but it's not intended as a desecration.
The poem does what I want for all my poems: it makes me look at a subject differently. In this case, it takes images that have a powerful potential for banality that comes from overuse and makes me think about them differently.
This morning, I'm thinking about poems and symbols and parables and all the ways that good theology also makes us think about the world differently. Does my poem make us think about rosaries and repair differently?
feeling the feelings…
6 months ago