I love the whimsy of tweetspeak’s Take Your Poet to Work Day, but since I’m not going to work today (yay for summer vacation!) and since I’m feeling lazy (did I already say summer vacation?) I’m not about to cut out a poet, colour it, glue it on a stick, and take a picture of it (seriously, I mean summer vacation!).
Instead, in honour of today’s Take Your Poet to Work Day, I decided to write a poem using an exercise shared by Al Andrews in a post for Storyline. In “Why It’s Often Better to Say Less,” Al read and re-read a single page from an essay, underlining the significant words, interacting with them, crossing out any unnecessary words, and then seeing what emerged. I loved his example and decided to try it for myself.
Here is a page from a sermon I wrote a couple of years ago called “God grant me patience”—on the left is my sermon, on the right is the same page with the words underlined and crossed out:
Here’s the poem that emerged:
In Praise of Patience
fast food or slow food?
a sprint or a marathon?
waiting or working?
patience is “makrothumeo”
— “long in spirit” —
oh the riches of God’s Kindness!
the Spirit who’s long in spirit with me.
Well as a poem it certainly won’t win any awards, but I love this exercise for the way it helps me focus on key words, and it’s one great way at least to start writing a poem.
Writing/Reflection Prompt: Experiment with this exercise for yourself.
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