Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 12 February 2023

 While there’s still time to dash out and buy a card, let me remind you that it’s Valentine’s Day on Tuesday. It’s also Gail Mumme’s and Shirley Nuss’ birthdays, so you can buy them a card for each occasion. Just remember that it’s traditional that a Valentine card should be from an anonymous admirer. On the first Valentine after we started going out, I composed a poem and faxed it to Leisa, or rather I faxed it to the firm of structural engineers for whom she worked. It was entitled, “The Poet’s Plea to a Civil Engineer”, and dealt with the pain of separation. I lived in West Sussex, while Leisa lived and worked Mon – Fri in London. The poignant last two lines are:

If things don’t get better, I’ll jump in the sea, Sir,

So build me a tunnel from Sussex to Leisa.

 

A few weeks later, she flew to Egypt on holiday, and I composed another poem on the inauspicious topic of a Romanian Airways Tupolev. Since then, the Muse has largely left me.

 

Poetry makes up a large part of the Bible. In addition to the poetic books themselves — Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Lamentations (these amount to around one third of the Old Testament) — there are large sections of poetry in other biblical books: well over half of Isaiah, over one third in Jeremiah, and around one fifth of Ezekiel, as well as more than half of the materials in the Minor Prophets (Hosea to Malachi) and other poetic sections in the narrative books, such as Hannah’s psalm in 1 Samuel 2. Altogether, then, more than half of the Old Testament is poetry. And the Old Testament makes up more than two thirds of the Christian Bible. There even are some poetic sections in the New Testament (Luke 1:46-55, 68-79; Philippians 2:6-11, etc.). On any count, the poetry of the Bible is important, by sheer numbers alone.

 

God doesn’t just love me, He sends me poems. He brings me to His banqueting table, and His banner over me is Love.

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