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God, poetically

22 October 2010

I’ve been reading The Best American Poetry 2009 for the past two weeks. I’ve been using lines from these poems as starting points for my own poems, but yesterday I read three poems that I loved so much I couldn’t possibly use just a single line from, couldn’t turn them into anything different than what they already were. One of these poems, “To Yahweh” by Tina Kelley, struck me because in it, Tina manages to address the astounding beauty of life’s details. She opens the poem with these lines:

God is the spray on your lip from the freshly poured ginger ale.
No, God is the arrival on your lip of the spray. The arcing. The spree.

I don’t believe in God as a personality or a being, but this poem captures the essence of the kind of “god” I, as well as most religious people I know, believe in–the force behind the subtle miracles in everyday life that we often take for granted, but when we stop and notice them, are the definition of beauty and awesomeness. This is one of those poems I read and immediately wish I had written myself.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 22 October 2010 21:37

    Thanks so much for the kind words! What were the other BAP poems that inspired you?

  2. 24 October 2010 20:40

    Tina, you’re welcome! I wrote about two other BAP poems in my last two blog posts, and in the past week or so I’ve used lines from several BAP poems as starting points to poems, some of which I posted on my blog.

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