What is Poetry if Not Prayer?

What is meditative prayer if not poetry, a seeking to understand?  The first example that comes to mind are the psalms of the Bible – a well known example of poetic prayer.  However, it is more than just that.  As a creative writer I search for words for the inexpressible, as a person of faith I entertain the unknown.  Underlying both is a mystery.  There are times that I am seized by something awesome, transforming, soul altering.  Then I cannot attribute what I have put down on paper to any particular thought process or mortal inspiration.  It is much more than that – as if something – or some being beyond me – used me.  I do not understand, but accept the gift of divine inspiration. And whenever a poem forms from words, from fragments? I feel something working through me: a puzzle maker who is the only one who knows what the complete picture will be. When I engage in meditative prayer I also connect with something, or a being beyond me, that I call God. To pray I need to have faith, as there is that which I accept I don’t completely understand.

As in prayer, as in poetry, so in dance, hence my tagline of the dancing poet. There are times that I dance and the person I am dancing with asks what I just did and I helplessly shrug as I say, “I danced”.  I have faith that there is something larger at work. The three (prayer, poetry, and dance) interpenetrate my being.  To examine or represent only one is to see a small part.  To see all and be all three is much more: the sum is greater than the parts.

If you are interested in more there is a Huffington Post article on just poetry and prayer, and a book, ‘A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith,’ co-edited by Katherine Towler and Ilya Kaminsky.

And I leave you with a thought via Asato Ma, an ancient prayer from India that is a song for peace. If poetry and dance and prayer, why not song, why not all creative processes?

Namaste.

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3 thoughts on “What is Poetry if Not Prayer?

  1. Pingback: “A person who sings prays twice…” | ikigaidance

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