“Poetry has meant a great deal in my life. That sensitivity, that intuition, an attitude of tenderness before nature, before all things, before people, before pain, before weakness, before pettiness, at times and under circumstances of exultation also. I therefore believe that poetry has been for me much more than a hobby. It has been a psychological constituent, which has expressed me and through which I have expressed my faith and even my ministry.”
–Bishop Pedro Casaldaliga
(Christian Mystics: 365 Readings and Meditations by Matthew Fox, p.175)
Poetry is soul food. Beauty feeds the soul. So should you only read and write beautiful poetry? Not necessarily. Feelings aren’t always beautiful. Feelings are messy and can sometimes be downright ugly. Hate. Certain kinds of anger. Casaldaliga’s words imply using an “attitude of tenderness” in approaching even ugly feelings.
If you approach your poetry with tenderness, then all feelings and all topics can be expressed. These feelings and words would be given a tender reception. They wouldn’t have to censor themselves or be censored by a rigid belief system. Poetry is soul food. Expression of your deepest feelings and thoughts feeds the soul.
Casaldaliga’s faith is expressed through his poetry. He thinks sensitivity, intuition and tenderness before nature are intrinsic parts of poetry. These qualities must be an intrinsic part of him as well. He has a deep faith in Jesus who is sensitive, intuitive and tender. Jesus is the poet in Casaldaliga’s soul.
Photo Credit: “Poetry” from the John Boyle O’Reilly Memorial by David Goehring at Flickr Creative Commons.
Linked with Thought-Provoking Thursday.