Why did God invent poetry? I guess he wanted to hear the words sing.
May 8, 2013
There is poetry in each of us.
Sometimes, though, it is timid.
And must be encouraged to present itself.
When it does, it is helpful if there are those there to recognize it.
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Why Did God Make Poetry?
Surely it wasn’t to make teenage boys, who would rather be out playing sports, uncomfortable and nervous and even embarrassed standing up there in front of the English class trying to remember and recite those silly words of iambic pentameter and free verse and such, lines that rhyme and those that don’t.
No, He had an obvious greater purpose.
He wanted to smooth the way.
Let words sing.
Consider the 23rd Psalm.
Who doesn’t know it by heart?
Feel the beauty, the tenderness of it?
Feel restored by it?
What if that Psalm had been devoid of poetry?
What if it had gone something like this:
The Lord’s my leader.
Gives me what I need. And then some.
Shows me where to rest, cool it.
Keeps me on the straight and narrow.
Death? No big deal.
Thumps those who would thump me.
I’m sticking with him.
He’s sticking with me.
Not exactly memorable, respectful.
Little to offer, beyond the mere facts.
Not even a perplexed teenage boy trying to fake his way through an English class recitation of poetry for a passing grade would attempt it.
The words feel empty.
Devoid of feeling, comfort.
Why did God make poetry?
To let words sing.
To better let us touch God.
And each other.
Let God touch us.
How do we know?
The Psalms quietly, soothingly, lyrically say so.
(One in a series on “Why Did God . . . ?)
Roger Summers is a journalist and essayist who spends time in Texas, New Mexico, England and a world of curiosity and creativity.