#749…sci, RELIG, etc: “What Is a Christian Poet?”


   Some words are tough to define¹.

   Among them are


(1)  preposition

(2)  dimension, and

(3)  poetry


   Let’s take a step beyond the last one here. A poet, of course, is one who writes poetry.


But what is a Christian poet?


To go further requires using the DOOR.




   First, let’s look at how the Oxford On-Line Dictionary defines poetry.

   A literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature: he is chiefly famous for his love poetry.
• a quality of beauty and intensity of emotion regarded as characteristic of poems: poetry and fire are nicely balanced in the music.
• something regarded as comparable to poetry in its beauty: the music department is housed in a building that is pure poetry.

   We added the boldface. Without going crazy with detail, a summary of the above is using a (usually short) series of words² to focus on expressing (a) feelings as well as (b) content.

   Years ago I occasionally taught poetry at the university³ and I wrote an award-winning book of poetry for children, A Pillar of Pepper (that’s still available); add to that founding and editing a small-press journal, Westigan Review, that I edited for 8 years.

   Back then Christians were writing poetry (and still are) and were being referred to as “Christian poets.” I recently came across a definition I created back then and even posted for a short while on my office door.

   Here it is:

   A Christian poet is (1) a Christian who writes poetry, and further, (2) a poet who in his writing does not ridicule or deliberately neglect the premise that God is, and that His only begotten Son Jesus is Creator, Savior, and Sustainer of the world.


   ¹ We’re overlooking the current consternation that scientists are having attempting to define, or redefine, space and time.

   ² Usually a “short” series of “freighted” words that rise the banal ordinariness of the many words that fill a novel.

   ³ I was a favorite replacement for poetry professors who went on a sabbatical.

Author: John Knapp