Poetry is a good dance partner
Last Friday, I read “When Giving Is All We Have,” by Alberto Rios in my weekly Lectio 360 Zoom call. This is a practice I’ve been doing for a while now. If you’d like to read more about it, click here.
I’m not trying to drum up new business although I always welcome new sign-ups, even if you never attend and just want to receive the weekly reading. In fact, I encourage that because I have discovered – let me say, rediscovered – the pleasure of reading poetry. And I always send the reading to my whole Lectio 360 list. I post it on Instagram, too.
Poetry is . . . well, I just got stuck. I got stuck because I was filled with so many feelings, but it just seems like my words would be inadequate. Let me tell you this: reading poetry is different from regular reading. You slow down. You re-read. You might be amazed. You go “hunh.” You feel poetry. I know you can feel prose. I completely understand getting swept away in a good book. I have some favorites that truly transported me.
But poetry is different. Well, in one way it is the same. There’s plenty of crummy poetry. But, oh, there’s so much that is good. Forget everything you *think* you learned in school. Forget that you *don’t get* poetry or that it’s hard or you don’t know how to read it or that it’s anything that you think you can’t do.
I’m reminded of that saying, Dance like nobody’s watching. Do that with poetry. Let it dance with you. You’ll find it’s a good partner and will follow your lead wherever you go.
Here are three places to get started:
The Library of Congress (Project 180 where you can sign up for a poem a day)
Poetry Unbound (From the On Being project. You can listen to poetry and interviews with poets)