Thursday, August 16, 2007

Why Study and Memorize Poetry?

I must confess that I have never been a big fan of poetry. I'm a math and science person. Give me problems to solve, logic puzzles, or a good hypothesis to test; and I'll be perfectly happy. Poetry is something that I never quite understood. It was just too intangible to me. I didn't really understand it's purpose or usefulness. Slowly God has been changing my heart.

Last spring at church, our women's Bible study worked through several of the Psalms. I had volunteered to teach a couple of lessons the previous year not knowing what the topic would be. When I found out we would be studying the Psalms, I groaned. Give me a narrative or a letter of Paul. I'll even tackle a book of prophesy. Anything but the Psalms, not poetry. I can't teach poetry. Still, I had already given my word that I would teach. So with lots of prayer and trepidation, I began to study Psalms 49 and 103.

I was blown away not only the depth of these 2 psalms but also by how much I learned from them. They seemed so simple, but they were packed with theology and beautiful imagery. Taking time to live with them and meditate on them was a huge blessing to me.

As I started my school planning this summer, I began to research and consider adding poetry into our school. I read an article by Michael Knox Beran entitled In Defense of Memorization. I also found a wonderful blog post entitled Why Poetry by Jessica at Trivium Academy which included quotes from several different sources on the importance of poetry.

Finally, I prayerfully looked at the three beautiful and unique children with whom God has blessed us. Neither Jessie or Violet will ever probably major in math or science. The verdict is still out on Benny, but he is highly verbal. I imagine they will all grow up with a far better vocabulary than I did. So this year, I've decided to take a step out of my comfort zone adding poetry into our curriculum. I'm not sure where the path will lead, but I'm sure it is a path the Lord would have us walk together with Him.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5

No comments: