A day or so ago, I wrote about the “God” creative writing experiment and mentioned how illuminating it was to listen as my students read their free-writes and spontaneous poetry aloud. And also how it began with one student sort of expressing reticence about speaking his mind because he seemed to fear it would lead to judgement and criticism, but that as he read, he just grew stronger and more grounded in his personal beliefs and was reassured by several other students who more or less shared similar feelings.
I also explained that my next goal was help draw out the shyer students at the back of the class, those who seemed to fear the same thing. The latter pair also struggling to share as well.
I had left the class feeling like I needed to validate where they were coming from as we had spent quite a bit of our discussion time on fears and doubts and breaking free of what many saw as a form of forced faith. . .something that was more or less handed down from generation to generation, strong in traditional adherence to a set of rules that didn’t always resonate.
We were able to establish common ground and caring, looking to core beliefs such as the practice of love and compassion. . .it was the dogma that more or less got in the way of a meeting of the minds.
Some students admitted that while they felt uncomfortable with the inconsistencies and hypocrisy practiced by others of their chosen faith, they themselves were still able to find peace and freedom in another kind of upbringing, one wherein those core beliefs remained the basis for their spiritual existence, and this at times within the same setting that had left so many feeling oppressed and questioning.
And I left class feeling kind of sad for them, as it seemed as if they too were struggling to be heard.
So this motivated me to search for poems to help draw them out a little, maybe explore some ways to write about their own journeys, as these like-minded writers had done.
And so here then is some inspiration and validation for them:
Gerard Manley “Hip” Hopkins, “Spring”
|The Angel that presided ‘oer my birth|
|by William Blake|
The Angel that presided 'oer my birth Said, "Little creature, form'd of Joy and Mirth, "Go love without the help of any Thing on Earth."
direct link to “Every Grain of Sand” in case the above imbedded one malfunctions.