17.5.09

Regret of Prose

I suppose there is no quicker way to lose sight of all that is beautiful, all that is marvelous, all that is utterly incompressible in its glory, all that demands our arrested attention—than to become completely prosaic. Poetry forgotten is the sunset ignored, and nature overlooked; the minutia of life in the flower, of struggle in the ant, of music in the bird, of freedom in the doe—until it all fades to the un-stately background of noise, uninterpreted.

Somehow, I forget to remember to notice—and find a thousand unreconciled moments fleeting beyond the hazy fog of recollection. I forget to see that my children are…just that: children—playful, fun, full of the energy of enthusiasm at surprise and inspiration. I forget to hear their exclamations of insight as the melody of praise. And, dour, I pour out dismissal upon them—reprove, retreat, correct, instruct. All because I have become utterly prosaic.

The poet hears the refrain of nature's tale, of glory echoed in the unlikely sights of human expression and nature’s cry. The prosaic sees only the practice of convenience: umbrellas, sidewalks, stop signs, and the clatter of feet upon the late-hour steps. The poet hears music to be sung—the prosaic, noise to be buffered against. The poet sees lines of despair and spaces of redemption—the prosaic, utility. The poet a journey—the prosaic, a distance to span. The poet, possibility in the hour—the prosaic, a critic of time past.

I would be a poet. I would shed the trappings of prose and leave the unmeasured lines of dictation to find, in a small space upon a page, the gathering of my heart, my hopes, my longings—which, like a song sung and a glory glimpsed, reflects the place where angels wait upon the Savior. Such are the realities that prose will never know and only poetry will reveal.

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