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Tag: Oregon

God and Creativity

In 1963, Joseph Brodsky was charged by his native country, Russia, of “social parasitism.” During his trial, the judge asked him who enrolled him in the ranks of poet and translator, since he did not have a high school education. His reply got him sent to internal exile. His response:

I didn’t think this was a matter of education, Brodsky said. I thought it came from God.

Since God is the creator of art, and mankind is made in His image, our genes of art are passed on from Father to His children. Some refer to the Muse as being their inspiration, as in the nine Greek Muses of mythology, or some other entity, perhaps evil in nature. After Jesus ascended to Heaven, He said it was better that He go, so the Holy Spirit could empower us to live what I would paraphrase as a creative life.

When I sometimes get a Holy Spirit idea, it is just the idea, and He wants me to worship through fleshing out this idea. A co-creation. Sometimes I ask Him for ideas on my own. But it is still up to me to write and edit it through to completion.

When I moved here to Oregon several years ago, I was ready to start a new life, a new writing life. And the beauty of where I live, started me to do just that. Despite the obstacles, to write.

Poets are not pariahs. Without art, or beauty, our lives would be dull, drab, utilitarian, and even perhaps evil.

FaithPoetryWriting

Poet Laureate’s Duties and History

I have always wondered what exactly a poet laureate’s duties are.

As for the United States, they are given much latitude. They give a reading to open the Library of Congress’s annual literary series, and close with a lecture. They are appointed from September of one year to May of the next. Poet laureates write occasional poetry. This position was started in 1936 as an endowment for “maintenance of a chair of Poetry of the English language in the Library of Congress.”

Beyond that they are given free reign to make it their own. Joseph Brodsky (he had an interesting life, (exiled from his native Russia), was the first to make a program that reached a national scale.

The current United States poet laureate is Joy Harjo, the first Native American to fill this role.

Other nations and localities have their own poet laureates. The Oregon poet laureate, appointed by Gov. Kate Brown, is Kim Stafford. His occasional poetry centers on the corona virus.

The term laurel was a wreath of honor given to ancient Greek poets or heroes. I would love to see poetry take on more importance and include more conservative voices.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ones of my favorite poets, was the celebrity of his time. “A Psalm of Life” speaks to me when I need encouragement to carry on.


Sources

PoetryReading

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