Why Poems?

I have always hated poetry.

I found it boring, verbose, loquacious, ridiculous, and well…impossible to write. Really, I just couldn’t figure out how it worked. I understood rhymes, but I couldn’t figure out meter. Many people (like Papa) tried to explain how it worked, but I still couldn’t figure it out.

Finally, after reading several ballads that I actually liked (Make Way For Liberty, How They Brought the Good New from Ghent to Aix, and After the Battle most notably), I decided that I may like poems after all — but only lyrical ballads. As I studied these ballads I finally figured out what I liked about them: meter.

Once I cracked the meter code, I decided that I liked poetry. (I’m still a bit bigoted and traditional though, insisting that proper poetry must have meter and rhyme.) Soon after this, I tried my hand at a ballad, and wrote a few other short poems. Then, while sitting in church one day, and listening to Papa preach the sermon, an idea for a poem came over me (I think the Romans called it the muse…). The rhymes seemed to write themselves as I hurriedly jotted them down on the back of my bulletin right underneath the “Sermon Notes” heading. That was Olive Oil the very first of my Sermon Notes Poems.

Ever since that day, I’ve written a poem based off of the sermons I hear. Some weeks, nothing inspires me to write a poem, so I don’t, and other weeks, I can only come up with a few rhymes during the service and I have to finish the rest at home. Some weeks, I feel more like I’m transcribing the poems as it is dictated to me, and other weeks I have to work hard to get the poetry right.

Over all, I found the poetry helps me focus on the message of each sermon better, forcing me to condense pages of information into concise and precise lines. It is my hope that you will find these poems meaningful, and helpful in your own walk with God.

Isaiah 30:8 “Now go, write it on a tablet before them And inscribe it on a scroll, That it may serve in the time to come As a witness forever. “

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