April 4 Poem

Today’s device:

Confessional Poetry: Poetry that reveals crucial material about the personal life of the poet. The term was coined by critic M.L. Rosenthal to describe a loose movement in contemporary American poetry that began to focus on intimate details of the poet’s own psychic biography.

from The Poet’s Dictionary: A Handbook of Prosody and Poetic Devices (by William Packard).

I want to take the opportunity here to say that I love my mother and I loved my father, may he rest in peace.  While that fact is not completely irrelevant, it is also not controlling.  Pastor Scott W. Gustafson wrote in his book, Biblical Amnesia, the following:

This commandment [to honor one’s father and mother] is the only one that has a promise associated with it.  The promise says that, if the 12 tribes of Israel honor their mothers and fathers, they will live a long time in the land that God is giving them.  Israel was, in fact, relatively successful in keeping this commandment.  The Bible itself is testimony that they honored their mothers and fathers.  The Bible tells stories of their mothers and fathers.  It does not lie about these people.  We see them “warts and all.” Yet, the Bible interprets these people in relatively positive ways.

[emphasis mine]

In poetry, we see people “warts and all” too.  I could write much more on the topic, but I prefer not to do so.  Only this:  There is redemption and forgiveness in poetry, but there is also lamentation; all of those things are legitimate.  Before there can be any of those things, however, there has to be emotional truth.  This poem attempts to describe the truth as seen by a 12 year old girl.  It was first published in Cairn, vol. XXXV. Continue reading “April 4 Poem”