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Month: December 2021

Crackin’ the Poetry Books


A wise man will hear and grow in learning. A man of understanding will become able to understand a saying and a picture-story, the words of the wise and what they mean.
Proverbs 1:5-6 NLV


When I was ready to take writing poetry seriously, I went to my default setting of books. By the time I was finished with one, it was liberally highlighted with either pencil or a yellow highlighter.

Poetry for Dummies was my first. It gave me a broad overview of everything poetry. Then I read any recommendation lists or reader reviews to find others to help me along the way.

In order to learn, we must also take those first baby steps with our pens, pencils, or keyboards. The same applies to our Christian lives — at some point beyond reading the Bible, we must step out in faith.

Poets' Pavilion

Writing and Group Dynamics

Women reading and writing on a table
Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall,
Ephesians 2:14 NASB


Writer’s groups are varied, depending on the genre and type of critique. Some are all-purpose, and some confine members to a single genre. Some are in-person, and some are video/online conversations. Some prefer the solitary way of books.

I have been a member of a few writer’s groups. Most of the time, the members were supportive of our pages.

A few times a disruptive person would join the ranks and cause discord. Often it was the subject matter or crowding the table/computer screen. Or both.

Our minds were joined to improve our writing craft. And to foster Heavenly creativity, the disruptive writers needed to be given other options.

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.
Hebrews 4:2 NIV


Broadside ballads were the street literature of the time. The news of the day and ballads – sometimes illustrated with woodcut illustrations – lined one side of the printed page.

One gentleman expressed his outrage, however:

The vulgar ballads of our day, the “broadsides” which were printed in such large numbers in England and elsewhere in the sixteenth century or later … are products of a low kind of art, and most of them are, from a literary point of view, thoroughly despicable and worthless.1

Though the ballads were considered doggerel, the broadsides did document the culture of the time. The performance and publishing of street art are timeless and tactile. No matter the era.

No matter the means, no matter highbrow or lowbrow, God works through it all. Proclaim away!


1Francis James Child from The English and Scottish Popular Ballads.

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