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Poetry and the Christian Life

  • Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2020
  • Time: 3:00pmโ€“4:00pm
  • Location:Zoom Online Meeting

Join us for an online poetry discussion on Tuesday, May 12, at 3 p.m. for the chosen poem A Ritual to Read to Each Other by William E. Stafford. Read it slowly, ponder it, reflect on it, and let it speak to you. Then join Ann Quinn for an online Zoom discussion.

A Ritual to Read to Each Other

By William E. Stafford

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dike.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should considerโ€”
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give โ€” yes or no, or maybe โ€”
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

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