Each year poet-teacher-friend Mary Lee Hahn asks folks to write with her during National Poetry Month. Each year she has a different focus. You can read about her project here. Definitely check her website to see her develop her ideas about the art and life of Malvina Reynolds.
I’ll participate again this year as much as I am able. I can’t really write a poem a day, but I’d like to try to write once every 2-3 days. Words appear slowly these days.
My project will explore the Beatitudes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. I grew up a preacher’s kid in rural Illinois. While I’ve since drifted from the church, the stories of the Bible are deep in my memory. Even the way I talk and write (I’ve come to see) are connected to biblical language and cadence.
After listening to Rev. Barber talk about the moral purpose of his politics, I began to think again about some of the central values I hold, values that put me at odds with some religious people. Yet, as I listen to Rev. Barber speak I heard a language that I could understand and with a passion I could feel. While I’m not likely to go back to the church I am impressed with the man.
At the very least, I’d like to explore some of the stories that inform my own past, especially during these times when a vision of connection and common good is so important to find.