[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.