Why You Should Write a Poem (and How You Can)
If you are like me, appreciating poetry, much less writing a poem, is on your list of “I can’t.”
My friend, Dave Harrity, founder of Antler, wants to change your mind and your vocabulary. Instead of saying “I can’t,” he will teach you to say “I did.” And he will probably have you add a “Boom!” on the end too.
In his new book Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity, and the Kingdom at Hand, Harrity takes you on a 28 day journey into writing and creativity. Into poetry and the beauty of putting words on paper.
The book is more than just a writing devotional, it is a journey into your soul.
Harrity will help you explore thoughts and feelings deep down inside of you. He will help you learn to see. And then to write what you see.
God is an Artist
Whatever thoughts you have about God, whether conservative or liberal, Baptist or Catholic, atheist or agnostic, I bet you have never imagined God as a poet.
Perhaps if you have spent a night staring at the stars, you can begin to imagine. I rarely see them anymore, but when I do, I am still struck with awe.
Or maybe, when you see something so beautiful that you lose the words to describe how you feel. A newborn baby. A painting. Flowers decorating a field. A fried Twinkie.
It isn’t too difficult of a stretch to imagine that God is an artist. And he is wildly creative.
What Would Jesus Do?
I have always been taught that I should be more like God. I should want what he wants. I should desire his will.
Before doing anything, I should ask myself “What would Jesus do?” But most of the time, I don’t know how to answer the question.
I don’t know what music he would listen to or what he would watch on TV. I don’t know if he would prefer football or basketball or which team he would root for. I don’t know which church he would go to. I have no idea whom he would vote for. I don’t know if he would drink coffee or tea.
But I do believe Jesus would write a poem, because he already has.
You are a Poem
In Ephesians 2:10 we are described as God’s “workmanship.” Created. Prepared to do good works. This Greek word we translate into workmanship is “poemia.”
The word “poemia” is referring to you.
When God made all things, he made it good. Beautiful. A work of art.
But when he made you, he poured out himself. He reached down into the depths of his soul, looking for the right words, the right phrase, the right feeling.
And he wrote a poem.
Join me in writing a Poem
If I haven’t convinced you that poetry is worth the effort, trust me I understand. It took me a long time to be convinced too.
I hope a few of you will give it a try. Consider joining me in writing a poem.
In Harrity’s book, Making Manifest, you will walk through 28 different writing exercises. Each exercise will help you to see and to hear life. And then help you to write it down.
Your emotions, your insights, your feelings, your words will add up. And at the end, you can write a poem.
I want to take this journey with you. If you are interested, let’s establish a Google Group where we can go through this book together. Everyone can go through each exercise on their own. We can meet as a group online once a week, sharing our thoughts and our progress.
And at the end, we can share our poems.
If you are interested in such a group, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you enjoy poetry? Have you ever written a poem?
You can leave a comment by clicking here.
This is the video trailer for the book if you need more information.
(If you are having trouble viewing this video, click here to see it on YouTube.)