A prophetic voice on Memorial Day



I was walking back to my car with Sharona to fetch my hoodie since the sunshine finally was obscured by the clouds and forthcoming wind. Elijah waved from across the street as he opened his trunk, grabbing a blanket. I mentioned how today I tackled this paper on form poetry that beat me down. Attempting to get it done, I actually prayed for illumination before beginning said behemoth.

All day long and at various moments in this school program, I have had moments of wondering when the con will be up, when my fine and astute mentor will advise me to go back to my day job and relinquish this other calling that gnaws sometimes at the most inappropriate times. Poetry is like a beast- once it is released, it cannot be caged. Once it is growling from hunger, it must be satiated. Form poetry and especially the classics embody the mechanicals of the craft and God knows I have never been good in math.

So this morning I walked/jogged for a bit and then sat down before my computer screen, blank and waiting with cursor blinking at me expectantly. I played my round or two of Tetris to gather my thoughts and listened to Marga Darshan. All this accumulated in John Donne’s desperation sinking in and the brilliance through which such desperation is penned in iambic pentameter and heroic couplets. Ack. Do I possess this gift in earnest? Because lately even thesis statements feel like a struggle. Writing papers has never been a problem for me before. It’s kind of like being a singer and losing your voice…

Trunk gaping open, Elijah listened and then instead of laughing it off spoke out, “It’s because this is what you were made to do. Don’t think it’s going to be easy. The enemy will want to hold you back. You will have to work hard for this, but it’s worth it because this is what you were made to do.”

Without knowing the depth of the self-doubt that plagued me earlier today, he spoke these words over me as a banishment of the fear and doubt, his voice clarified and even. I felt a surge of new strength and courage to approach my readings anew this week. Even so, Wordsworth, Keats and Yeats wait smiling for they have their own stories to tell.

Illuminate mine eyes Lord, that I may hear and see, taste and know what truths these poems of yore beckon to tell.

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