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Poetic Reading is not just reading poetry! Poetic Reading cultivates the wholeness of the reader, because it engages her whole being. Instead of a (sometimes disconnected) verbal intellect operating on words (a narrow slice of our interior capacity), it is an integrated sensory-intellectual-affective person focused to receive experience and tuned to resonate with it!
I know that’s a lot to take in, but when you do get the connection between wholeness and humanity and poetry, you’ll find it’s worth working to digest. Poetic reading is, first of all, ordered to leisure, to freedom, to the context rather than the content of reading. It’s not enough to read good things, but we must read well and whole-ly. To do that, we need our senses and our delight and an integrated approach to all different kinds of reading material.
Since I gave this talk, I’ve read Josef Pieper’s book In Tune with the World, about festivity as a preparation for the Eucharistic Feast. In the talk, I did compare Poetic Reading to feasting, instead of mere feeding, and now would strengthen that section even more with some of Pieper’s insights. That’s the wonderful thing about these talks – every time I get to give one a new airing, it takes on new life from everything I’ve been reading and learning and speaking about since its first run.
I hope this talk will win the lottery again soon!
Here’s a collection of my talks that feature poetry, poems, or poetic formation.