Thank you all for these comments.
I plan on following through with "poems on Monday" after the first of the year.
Thanks for reading,
And thanks for your own poetic efforts. My feeling is that every poem written is a success because even if no one reads it, it aids the awareness, the perspective, and the gratitude of the person who wrote it!
I have been writing poetry for years and am LDS. I met one of my goals last year by publishing a book fo my Christmas poems through Amazon/Create Space. "For the Joy of Christmas." We hadn't time to do a thorough edit in order to have it ready by last Christmas so it has several typos Even with those I am pleased to be published so others can read the poems. Hopefully it will help bring the true spirit of Christmas to others. Now to work on publishing some of this Grandmother's children story poems.
Wonderful article, it has prompted me to open up some of my dust covered works in words, and again renew myself....
I liked your second poem very much. It describes how I see the Apostles going about their work and how I like to think of them leading their lives. I too, like the others, write poetry,I enjoy it very much. I have never had it published because I feel it is so personal. Thank heavens that you do not feel this way.
There's actually a lot going on in Mormon poetry. Over the last few years, there's been an explosion -- but many of these poets are publishing on a national level and are read by predominantly non-LDS readers.
At the very least, more Mormons should be aware of the existence of the 2011 anthology, "Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-First Century Mormon Poets." At 522 pages and featuring the work of 82 contemporary poets, this compilation edited by Tyler Chadwick and published by Peculiar Pages makes a very strong case for the current activity and proliferation of Mormon poets and poetry.
A few years previous to that, Stephen Carter edited "The Best of Mormonism 2009," an anthology of Mormon writing that also featured several poets. And earlier this year, "Moth & Rust: Mormon Encounters with Death" was published by Signature Books -- another anthology which features poems by contemporary LDS poets alongside essays and short fiction pieces, all of which grapple with a wide variety of perspectives on death and mortality.
I just read Messages on the Water by Merrijane Rice and found her poetry is memorable and beautiful.
I can appreciate the 2nd poem having been in the presence of several Apostles when I was stationed in Germany during my army career. The General Authorities always had a tired but vibrant look about them. Their attitude seemed to be, "Let us Press On!" I saw, from a distance, President Kimball at an area conference in Germany. He was accompanied by then, Elder now President Monson. Dynamic is a word that comes to my mind.
Thank you for this article. As I poet, I relate! I chose not to pursue publishing a booklet of my poetry, in part because of this statement from an LDS publisher's author guidelines. "We are not interested in the following genres: business and finance, cookbooks, family histories, memoirs, poetry, or personal journals." My personal satisfaction comes from the gratitude I feel for the gift of creativity and from sharing my testimony through my poetry with those closest to me. As I am taught by the Spirit and thoughts and words are given to me that become the building blocks for poetic expression, my testimony and love for my Heavenly Father and Savior grow. It's all about feelings and I cherish how writing poetry makes me feel.
My only comment is a request: Please post some poems next week that have a consistent meter and make use of a rhyme scheme. I have found that poetry that at least has a rhyme scheme is easier for non-poets to appreciate. Plus, personally, poetry that does not use basic poetic tactics simply feels like prose broken up into lines.
I'm not trying to be harsh or rude. This is just the thoughts of an unpublished poet to the published poet.
The reason why poetry is not as 'out there' as the rest of LDS made art could easily be because most normal poetry seems to not be as 'out there' as other art made by anyone. It is much easier for a song or a painting to become popular than for a poem to become popular.
Poetry is alive and well in the state of Utah with the Utah State Poetry Society founded in 1955 and still going strong with 8 chapters and over 200 members who meet monthly to increase their skills in the art of poetry. More info available at https://utahpoets.com
Thank you for the free verse, Richard. I have been writing poetry for over 52 years, and only published two poems that I recall. My wife has all my poems buried somewhere. Perhaps it's time to exhume them and see what the light of day would do for them.
Email (will not be published)
Daily news, articles, videos and podcasts sent straight to your inbox.