Sunday, February 23, 2014

Poem for a Monday: Faith

A dear friend’s illness, a new book I’ve been reading about Jesus, the weather … for some reason I’ve been on my knees more often of late. 

The book:  Jesus: The Human Face of God is by author/poet/Middlebury College professor Jay Parini, and I picked up a (signed!) copy at the Vermont Book Shop (Robert Frost’s favorite bookstore, in case you didn’t know) mostly because Jay was one of my creative writing teachers 30+ years ago.  I can’t put it down:  if you are at all interested in the historical Jesus as well as a textual analysis/literary approach to Christ’s teachings, this is for you.

Meanwhile, Robert Chute of Poland Spring has written this wonderful poem about faith.  Given where my head and heart have been at, it spoke to me.

By Robert Chute

I’ve never found an arrowhead,
one flinty chip of history.
Young Thoreau, they said, if he walked by
some farmer’s fresh plowed field, could just
stoop down and pick one up. As if
the spirit that had shaped them drew them
up to his attention. Stoney bread crumbs
no birds will eat, these points and flakes
led him from the town into the
saving woods and wilderness, marked
the path to a wildness which might
save us all. His faith led him on
to find what he believed. We find,
he said, what we are prepared to see.

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