This lovely, dark morning, while researching a bit on the poet Dorianne Laux, I listened to one of her poems (below) where she spoke about “God”. Her use of “God” inspired me to start this post where I will slowly gather examples of poets who use the word “God” to communicate.
Unlike a huge percentage of Americans, I don’t enjoy football, baseball or basketball. Yet I work in medicine and work with people from all walks of life on very intimate levels daily — people who generally love and avidly watch sports. So, not infrequently, I use sports analogies to reach into and share their world enough that we can effectively communicate.
Poets and authors who don’t necessarily believe in an intervening, prayer-answering, virtue-rewarding, sin-punishing, fate-controlling, supernatural deity still use the word “God” to communicate to a large audience. “God” can be a very useful, convenient tool, either because it resonates with believers or it is so deeply a part of culture, it even stirs the hearts/minds of nonbelievers and the many who don’t really think about whether they believe or not.
That’s how it is sometimes–
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you’re just too tired to open it.
2. Ferdowsi (AKA: Firdusi): a Persian poet, 940-1020 AD. Shia Muslim
No one could tell me what my soul might be;
I searched for God, and God eluded me;
I sought my brother out, and found all three,
My soul, my God, and all humanity.
3. More coming (with your help, perhaps)
Note: I am not sure of the actual positions of the poets listed above (and neither, perhaps, are they) — but if you know where they have spoken on this issue, please let me know. Also, if you have other examples of poets using “God” where it is clear they are not using the word in the common sense, let me know.