Monday, May 15, 2006

conversion on the 405

i don't for a moment claim to know anything about poetry... especially the modern stuff, but stanley kunitz died today at the age of 100. i turned on the radio just in time to hear a recording of the poet reading one of his own masterpieces- "the layers." in his memoirs, he was remembered as a man who always wrote and talked about the idea of transformation. it was a beautiful thing to think of a 100 year old man in love with the idea of "becoming" again. that's all i know about him, but that is enough to inspire me to desire what he tried to embody...

"i dream of an art so transparent that people
can look through it and see the world."
- s. kunitz


Aaron said...

"i dream of an art so transparent that people
can look through it and see the world."

phil, i like this quote you posted of his. lyd and i were just talking about this very thing a couple of days ago...
we were talking about poetry and how the writing that really impresses and engages us is when the writer bears their soul in their poetry, rather than writing about a distant object or scene. there is a temptation to become a "great writer" in a sense that you posess the ability to eloquently put together words and form sentences, but words and sentences is all it ever becomes. that idea challenges me, even in my teaching ministry here with my students, that a "good sermon" is nothing more than a good sermon. becoming transparent so that people can look through me and see Jesus and the world through this lens.

elnellis said...

i love your thought about makeing teaching artful. for many pastors, art is not a category they put their preaching in... (many would be closer to science or politics). have you read any Frederick Buechner? he is a strong advocate of that.

nathan Barrett said...

Great stuff man! The way that artists see the world is a lifeline to heart and a deterrant to cold heartedness. We need the wise, the wondering and the wonderful as our counselors. Blessings brother. Just writing from Germany at present and enjoying a Franziskaner Weissbier for free in the airport lounge. I bought my ticket to Seattle and will arrive on the 9th of August! I will forward you the details.