Poetry speaks more with less words. I have written poetry since I was a young teenager. It is a wonderful way to express deep emotions that would be impossible to express in prose. There is no better description of what poetry is than in Eugene Peterson’s book on the Psalms.

“Poetry is language used with personal intensity. It is not, as so many suppose, decorative speech… Poets use words to drag us into the depths of reality itself. They do not do it by reporting on how life is, but by push-pulling us into the middle of it. Poetry grabs for the jugular… Poetry doesn’t so much tell us something we never knew as bring into recognition what is latent, forgotten, overlooked, or suppressed.”

Our only daughter, Sarina Rose Marie Brandt, was named after both of her grandmothers. Her poetry cannot be found online so in true Sarina-fashion she chose one that honours me even though I’m trying to honour my children this month.

Radical Dad
I Love you, Dad.
Because Meat on the Grill doesn’t taste nearly as good as
home-grown vegetables
cooked (by you) into a poor-man’s stew;
Because you don’t bike to be the Strongest
but to respect your God, the earth God gave you,
and the lungs of your children;
Because you don’t like Fishing
(or fish), but you do like Green
though not for its manly sheen, instead
Because it reminds you of the forests–
of their beauty and their darkness,
of their aliveness;
Because Ties threaten the throat,
and Watches the wallet,
and Guns the peace;
Because I don’t need a Superhero to protect me,
a Warrior to rescue me,
or a Tycoon to pay for me;
Because I need a father to cry with me,
A wise-man to discuss with me,
An artist to read my poetry.
I love you, Dad.

My daughter gets me! Poets know each other. I am a man who would rather write poetry than pump iron. Most of the poetry I write is the journal variety and not for publication. It is in the most intense parts of my life that I have written the most poetry. Poetry helps me to reflect on life.

Just as poetry is not merely decorative speech, collage is not merely pasting nice pictures together in a scrapbook. Art is the best form of social protest. Here is one of my daughter’s collage pieces [another art form we share interest in].

gnat 4