Poetry on Life’s Journey

By Joyce D. Sohl

Remember the nursery rhymes we learned – they taught us our ABC’s, told us stories of blind mice or Mary’s lamb, encouraged us to look at the twinkling stars, reminded us of the dangers of sitting on walls, or perhaps even put us to sleep dreaming of princes, witches, and owls. The poetry we read or hear today still can be educational, can still tell stories about life, events and loss, and can remind us of the obstacles we may run into on life’s journey. But even more, the poetry of today can inspire, share a vision or a dream, provide solace for the soul, and compel us to “feel deeply, think without restrictions and stand on sometimes shaky ground.” [Nicholas Mazza in After Shocks]

Once a month Scarritt Bennett Center has a poetry reading known as “Poet’s Corner.” It started in the summer of 2010 and has continued every month since. Its purpose is to provide a setting for primarily local poets to share their poetry with their friends, family and poetry enthusiasts. Dialogue between the poet and the audience is encouraged. Some of the poets have shared their life journey or family relationships. Others have written about events within the country or the world such as war, exile, or police brutality. Others use metaphors of nature to describe deep spiritual feelings or longings for love. Some write of racism, sexual and domestic abuse, and other issues of injustice and violence in our society.

 Poet’s Corner meets on the 4th Thursday at 7:00 PM of every month except November and December when it is on the 3rd Thursday. It is an enjoyable one hour of hearing great poetry from the known and unknown poets of the region. Walker Bass is our poet on October 23. In his poem “Geology of Self,” Walker describes his life journey using geological terms: “I’ve grown through/the largesse of Texas -/indulged in my thirties/like I was still/in my twenties./ Texas was limestone, limestone everywhere -/the solid footing of rock/yet somewhat more brittle.”

Come and join us at a Poet’s Corner. Be inspired, comforted, challenged to work for justice, and entertained. Poetry is more than words or rhymes or rhythms. Poetry is the language of wisdom and reality; meaning and relationships; healing and growth. Come and listen to this language. It may find a place in your heart.

Joyce Sohl

 Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, and quarterly retreats and art exhibits.