"POETRY IS THE NATIVE LANGUAGE OF THE PERSON OF FAITH"Thus Canon MARK OAKLEY in an article just published in the Church Times. Many of us were, if not persuaded, then at least enlightened by Mark at our Wychwood Circle meeting in September. Here he takes up his theme in print:
Mark Oakley in the Church Times 3rd October 2014
A short extract:
Alas, the book which his publisher is already advertising on their website has not yet been completed! It will bear the same title as Mark's talk: The Splash of Words: believing in poetry. Due out in the spring.Poetry will always be healthily sceptical of our cheerful pulpit fluency when it comes to the divine reality, and will work harder to see everything, from the human heart to the humility of heaven, from fresh and dislocating angles. It will warn us of the curse of religious literalism, its immodest certainties setting flames of hate across so many parts of the world.Poetry encourages our mind to think in metaphors. It teases our soul to be ready for the surprise of wonder and the gift of tears, the moment when we say "Yes, that's how it is, and I never quite knew it like that."Poetry has both immense intimacy and intimate immensity, and, in its pledge to a more attentive perception, faith celebrates the sacramentality of poetic words as a beautiful and frightening gift of the God who is in this world as poetry is in the poem.