the colour of our lives

poetry • celebration • faith • nature • humanity • imperfections • glory

why?

[updated since first posted]

In case anyone was wondering, this is not a poem; more of a manifesto. I’m likely to change my mind about it sometime. One reason it’s not a poem is that poems about poetry have a large cringe quotient for me.

  • I reckon poetry is about richness of ideas and language; each new poem says something new, in a new way.
  • I’m inspired by the christian gospel, and the character of God
  • I’m also inspired by nature and human relationships, and the most fertile ground is in the interplay between humanity and God, or nature and God, or even all three. (Not too say that all of my poetry necessarily deals with any of this.)
  • So, for me, poetry needs to have something fresh to say about these issues, stated with language which is beautiful, powerful, humorous, surprising, lyrical, and – well, stuff like that. This isn’t a poem, remember; I can say “stuff”.
  • (The whinge.) Much of what gets classified as Christian poetry these days does not fulfil the previous criterion; see here, and here; it’s not hard to find (maybe someone will add me to a list like this eventually). I may as well add another semi-whinge or two while I’m at it. First, I have been known to have a bone or two to pick with churches, and some of my stuff reflects that history. Second, as far as I know, contemporary churches have not been particularly supportive of artistic expression other than some types of music (although this is not a universal criticism as events like the Mandorla Art Prize and projects such as Transpositions demonstrate).
  • So, at least in part, this blog exists to attempt to show, if only to myself, that creativity and christian faith can coexist. Time will tell if it does; and, of course, it won’t do it alone. If you look hard enough, you can find a few like-minded souls: try Leaf Litter, Studio or unfoldingpaper (all on the blogroll or weblinked in the widget bar at right)
  • There’s also photography on this blog. For this I focus on the ‘natural’ world. What I haven’t done (yet), and what YiChing Lin does wonderfully with more urban images with her linked photography and poetry blogs, is to create some synergy between the two forms. I need to find more blogs that do this and think about whether some sort of poetry-photography cross-fertilisation suits this blog too.

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5 thoughts on “why?

  1. (smile) i deeply appreciate the shout-out. as you may have noticed, i always leave the writing in the first slot of comments in my photoblog. when i asked people for their preference (putting the writing near the photo or in the comments section), it seemed that people liked to take time to think about the photo before reading the writing. it doesn’t matter which way you view it – sometimes the writing comes first; othertimes, the photo is chosen first. each part should have a life of its own – sometimes the connection is made only by putting two unlike pieces together (smile). thank you, again!

  2. huh.
    interesting…

    • for some reason I thought it important to state my intentions. maybe so readers wouln’t feel ambushed by anything except the play of words. I’m curious about what elicited the “huh” response and what was interesting?
      best, Dan

  3. I followed you back from your comment on calebseye. This is a very nice website and I find your poetry readable and intriguing – in short, I am a very slow reader and learner but your poetry strikes me as worth spending a deal of time on. I intend to do just that.
    We have somewhat parallel experiences. My training -“professionally”- is mathematics, which I find to be intimately connected to poetry, and everything connected to faith at some point. Churches and I have not always had a peaceful time of it; I must admit I may not be blameless in that regard. Now I am in an Episcopal/Anglican parish and very happy; and my wife is a priest – one of the establishment, as we say.
    One thing I love about the internet is the global aspect. I am from northern New York, a few miles from Canada, which puts me on the exact opposite side of the globe near enough. It is spring and I am about to set out my onions and plant some plum trees. You are going in to autumn and doing I have no idea what. It is fascinating.
    Finding your site is encouraging to me. In the US, there is a sort of paranoia that infects a great deal of the Christian mindset and it wears one down. You seem paranoia-free.
    God’s peace be with you.

    • Hi Carroll – first, thanks for spending the time to read my stuff and for your positive response. Second, thanks for sharing some of where you’re at; it always good to discover another of like mind.

      “You seem paranoia-free”

      I guess these things are relative. I have my own fears and anxieties, but I guess I don’t feel a need to press these on to anyone else (despite this poem!).
      Autumn in Perth, Western Australia, is astonishingly pleasant. Calm, fine weather with daytime temperatures in the mid-twenties (Celsius!), and it’s our time for gardening as well, as the summers are simply too dry and hot. We like to grow Australian natives (no surprise there) and have just replaced all summer’s casualties.
      best, Dan

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