Madeline L’Engle, one of the writers whom I find most fascinating wrote the following about art and the response it invokes.
“A great painting, or symphony, or play, doesn’t diminish us, but enlarges us, and we, too, want to make our own cry of affirmation to the power of creation behind the universe. This surge of creativity has nothing to do with competition, or degree of talent. When I hear a superb pianist, I can’t wait to get to my own piano, and I play about as well now as I did when I was ten. A great novel, rather than discouraging me, simply makes me want to write. This response on the part of any artist is the need to make incarnate the new awareness we have been granted through the genius of someone else.”
I sighed and continue to sigh in relief when I read the talent part. I love poetry. When I was little I memorized Shel Silverstein’s poems just in case I were ever to be separated from his books. A high school English teacher introduced me to T.S. Eliot who only furthered my love for poetry.
After coming to know Christ and years dissecting and categorizing as a Biology major in college, my soul found deep solace in the poetry of George MacDonald and George Herbert.
When I read what they have written and the way they captured life with such an economy of words, I found myself writing my own paltry poems, most of which come out of my time with the Lord, wrestling over His Word.
They are nothing more than a word-lovers attempt at responding to the beauty of God’s World, His Word, and His Ways. The meter is often off and the rhymes are at best sophomoric, but I experience God’s pleasure when I write.