Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Preacher's Mechanical Aid

When my writer’s group met last week we were treated to three new blank verse poems by our in-house poet, Betty Ivy. I introduced you to Betty as my favorite contemporary poet in a blog posted on April 1.

Betty’s new poems were marked by her usual lyrical blank verse rhythm and her sense of the ironic, Betty’s trademarks. My favorite was called “The Fan.”

This fan is no ordinary house fan. It is the fan that sits beside the pulpit at St. James Church in Fairhope week in and week out and says, as it swivels and bobs, yes yes yes to the affirming words of the pastor and no no no to the things we don’t want in our lives.

Ingenious! Why did I never think to put such a fan alongside my pulpit, when I had a pulpit? Probably because I didn’t have a resident poet to tell me how it might sing out the gospel in reinforcement of my preaching.

Best of all, when St. James’s preacher leaves the pulpit and the members file out the door, the little fan remains behind, still saying yes yes yes to the preacher’s benediction.

But it takes a poet to hear it.

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