spiritual poetry, again
I wrote a blog awhile back about spiritual poetry; sometimes I find the word "spiritual" about as meaningful as a mud puddle. I mean a clear puddle reflects a mud puddle is brown. I read a really great definition of the word "spiritual" recently but I lent the book out.
I was with my divorced parents this past weekend and they were both ridiculing spiritual and
mystical poetry. I like mysticism a lot but I don't much like mystical poetry. I don't write much poetry about mystical experiences. I do aspire to writing spiritual poetry if I can ever just figure out what that is. Or some version of it that is meaningful to me and that can communicate something of value to some readership.
Both mystical and spiritual poetry can be full of abstractions, and lots of people prefer poetry that has concrete imagery. But I find that good spiritual poetry has abstractions in it that speak to me. For instance this one by that old warhorse, RUMI:
Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an ax to the prison wall.
Escape. Walk out
like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You're covered with thick cloud.
Slide out the side. Die,
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest
sign that you've died.
Your old life was a frantic running
The speechless full moon comes out now.
OK so do I have to interpret this??? One thing spirituality has to offer is a steamer trunk full of figurative meanings. No, this little Rumi poem is not very concrete, and not very literal. On the other hand, is it not apt for our times, the accusation that we run from silence. I'm especially guilty of this. If we didn't have to put words to everything we'd understand ourselves and our Earth and our origins far better, I do believe. Think about an infant's nonverbal universe!!!
Are babies BORED because they can't understand language??? Sure, they get upset at the drop of a pin and you don't always know why, though often the discomfort proves to have been physical.
I think mystical poetry is a subset of spiritual poetry. My own spiritual poetry is more intellectual than mystical. I have other ways of expressing the mystical, often non-verbal ways.
It's a good test for my to try to have non-verbal experiences, as the lion's share of my time is given over to words almost every day.
I'm interested in what you other bloggers and blog-readers think of as spiritual poetry.