11.01.2012

Jesus Thoughts (prologue)

Today is All Souls' Day (with emphasis on ALL Souls) - old Christian holiday, & perhaps a seasonal festival too, back in prehistory.  So maybe it's a good day for this particular wayward soul to start a new thread on HG Poetics.  Can't promise it will continue, but I hope so.

Am reading 1st volume of John Meier's 4-vol magnum opus, A Marginal Jew - in this layperson's opinion, the place to start for anyone interested in learning more about that Jesus fellow who intervened in something so serious and ponderous as Human History.

I can identify with the title somewhat, when I mope about my status as a marginalized American po├Ęte maudit.  But let's not mope.  When I look back on my life, I see several often snarled patterns : 1) an artistic bent; 2) a boy's fascination with heroism, glory, history; 3) a tendency to ponder philosophical/existential/metaphysical conundrums; 4) an upbringing shaped by parents and grandparents who participated in American "mainstream" Christianity (in my case, Episcopalian).

The combination of these four tendencies - and added to them, 1) a turn to poetry, and 2) an adolescent psychological crisis, a near-breakdown, an "extreme" response to BOTH Shakespeare and the Bible simultaneously - offers background for a longtime focus on the nexus of poetry, religion, history.  For example, in the last 20 years I've written several long poems with an historical, "epic" dimension.  Part of my motive there involves a resistance to other long poems, a desire to revise or rewrite them.  And what is the source of this resistance?  My own worldview, my own "inspiration", calls for a different world-picture.  Meier's work helps me right now in this respect.

What I'd like to do, and hope to accomplish, in this thread , is to reflect further on that historical-theological (and poetic) sense of things.  So we'll see if I can manage to do that.


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