Palm Sunday

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

Like George Herbert and Edward Taylor, I found the pastorate highly conducive to following the secondary calling of Poetry.  Pastoral ministry rightly pursued keeps you focused on big ideas (Theology) mediated through concrete story (Scripture) and applied to the real lives of real human beings (your congregation).  A number of these poems come out of that matrix.  Preaching surely should be an attempt to elucidate and focus the impact of Scripture; and the distillation of that attempt can’t help but generate poetry too, in those so called.   This one is an appropriate meditation for Palm Sunday, which is only three days away now.

LUKE 19:41

The crowds cried out, “Hosannah!”

As his humble mount drew near.

The waving of the branches,

The excitement of the cheers,

The strewing of their garments

Kept their thoughts from being clear;

But the Savior saw the City

And saluted it with tears.

 

Still they echo through the years!

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

CXLIII

 

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

Like George Herbert and Edward Taylor, I found the pastorate highly conducive to following the secondary calling of Poetry.  Pastoral ministry rightly pursued keeps you focused on big ideas (Theology) mediated through concrete story (Scripture) and applied to the real lives of real human beings (your congregation).  A number of these poems come out of that matrix.  Preaching surely should be an attempt to elucidate and focus the impact of Scripture; and the distillation of that attempt can’t help but generate poetry too, in those so called.

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem by Hippolyte Flandrin c. 1842

LUKE 19:41

 

The crowds cried out, “Hosannah!”

As his humble mount drew near.

The waving of the branches,

The excitement of the cheers,

The strewing of their garments

Kept their thoughts from being clear;

But the Savior saw the City

And saluted it with tears.

 

Still they echo through the years!

 

TriumphalEntry3

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD

CVIII

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

It is now 1982-83.  I have accepted a position as pastor of the First Evangelical Free Church of Marietta, GA.  The transition from teaching writing to preparing two sermons a week, doing hospital visitation, counseling, etc., is one that I had prepared for, as you will realize if you’ve been following this history.  But nevertheless, it was rather all-consuming, for a while taking up all the space on my hard drive, as it were.  As a result, I only wrote one poem that year.  But the new stimulation of the discipline of weekly biblical exposition would bear much poetic fruit down the road.  This poem was in The Evangelical Beacon, July, 1985, p. 17.  It is about the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem.

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem by Hippolyte Flandrin c. 1842

Miracula

 

It is not so astounding that a stone

Would have cried out, “Hosannah” had the crowd

Left the Lord to enter town alone.

More marvel you can read theses lines aloud:

In us,

He gave a tongue to dust.

TriumphalEntry1

It is not so amazing that He meant

To purchase all our sorrow for His own

And for that painful bargain to have spent

The Glory at the right hand of His throne:

His love

Him to such deeds would move.

TriumphalEntry3

But ponder this for paradox:  the ones

To whom that Gift was given—life complete,

Eternal peace, adoptions as His sons!—

With such ingratitude can daily treat

As worthless toys

Such high and holy joys.

TriumphalEntry4

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Donald T. Williams, PhD