Last Sunday we had a visiting speaker at church and he was sharing some of his story of how he came to faith at the age of seventeen. When he was about ten or eleven years of age his teacher gave his class a poem to take home and read.
The next day the boys’ responses were moans and groans… “Boring…why do we have to read this stuff?…What’s it supposed to mean?” Er, sounds rather familiar.
Honestly, sometimes I’ve wondered if I was wasting my time reading and discussing poetry, especially with my boys, who have tended to be more vocal than the girls when it comes to their likes and dislikes in this area.
Well, our visiting speaker continued with his story and I noticed one of my boys looking across at me with a grin on his face as the speaker, in a deep, rich and dramatic voice, started to recite the following poem:
The speaker shared how his teacher simply talked about the poem – this creature was a freak of nature, unplanned, unwanted, weird, a parody; but he had a part in God’s purposes.
I was so excited! Here was someone who understood the power of poetry. Here he was in his sixties still feeling the power of a piece of poetry he’d heard as a boy.
A seed was sown in his heart by a caring teacher and God worked on that seed and seven years later it bore fruit in his life.
I was so grateful that my kids heard this story. I’m so grateful that I pressed on and continued to share poetry with them even when they didn’t seem to appreciate it.
And this morning, I found a quote in one of the comments on my post on G.K. Chesterton from Mama Squirrel which I just had to put here:
5 thoughts on “The Power of Poetry”
I am reading through Orthodoxy for the first time–it is one of my favourite books right now. Glad you liked the quote too.
Thank you for the encouragement. Some of the kids at my school do groan about recitation until they find a favorite poem or Bible verse. We will persist!
I love when these things happen.That is why we must persevere. The more we do the more these wonderful moments will happen.
Wonderful post. My fourth grade teacher (in the 1970's) read poetry to us and instilled a love in me for beautiful words.
So inspiring. That whole idea of planting seeds without expecting to see their fruit- I need to grab hold of that.