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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry Liturgical Verse Lectio divina is a spiritual practice but for the purposes of this forum it could be classified as a poetic genre. As such it is a poet's response in verse to something he/she has read aloud and meditated upon. This genre invites the poet to frame the response in whatever manner they wish. The spiritual practice of lectio divina - Latin for "holy or sacred reading" is an extension of haga - a prayerful Jewish meditation of chanted scripture. In ancient times when scripture was not readily available to all, holy men would gather to read, chant and in the process memorize scripture. They would then go off by themselves to meditate on the words and possibly record them. The purpose was not to study or analyze the readings but to absorb and connect it to their everyday lives and experiences, become one with the spirit of the words. The origin of lectio divina dates back to the 3rd century, St Ambrose then St Augustine practiced a form of lectio divina but it wasn't until the 6th century that it became a monastic practice instituted by St Benedict. In the 20th century, in the documents of Vatican II, the laity were encouraged to adopt the practice. Lectio divina is believed to help the practitioner "experience God in scripture" and "have a running dialogue with the spirit". Response to the sacred readings is sometimes recorded in verse. This is still practiced by many today, catholics and protestants alike. Long before I heard the term lectio divina I had without labelling it, often written small poems in response to meditation of scripture or other's poetry. It just seemed an appropriate way to complete the experience. Japanese buddhist priest and poet Basho followed similar steps to enlightenment and often wrote responses to others' "sacred writings". He even made a pilgrimage visiting the places old poets/priests had written about and documented his responses in haiku. "Feel the truth of old poets." Basho The process of lectio divina is: (lectio) read and listen, preferably reading the selected piece out loud a few times to hear the sounds of the words and feel the rhythm of the language as well as to absorb the imagery. Listen for words or phrases that seem to speak just to you. (meditatio) meditation, setting the reading aside spend some time open to how the reading made you feel, what memories it may have touched, who or what may have come to mind during the reading. (oratio) prayer, a dialogue with the Spirit. Whether you recognize the spirit as God, Christ or simply the spirit that resides within each of us, oratio would be the attempt to talk it out and listen to the spirit of the word, Here we tap into hopes, concerns or thoughts inspired by the reading.. This is not an attempt to explain nor analyse, but should be a reaction to the spirit of the word. (contemplatio) contemplation, letting it go. You know the old saying "Let go, let God.". When we write down our thoughts we release them. Many record their response in a journal, often in verse writing in whatever form fits the mood. Specific language or phrases of the readings are often repeated as a way of connecting the experience. I wrote Chimes in Glosa form in response to a verse from scripture that I have carried with me since my teens. Glosa and haiku seem to be my 2 favorite frames for responses. Reading:A Question by Robert Frost A voice said, Look me in the stars And tell me truly, men of earth, If all the soul-and-body scars Were not too much to pay for birth. My Response in haiku: "soul-and-body scars" so far a bargain, I live! ~~jvg
Tinker posted a topic in Spanish VerseExplore the Craft of Writing Poetry Spanish Verse Glosa or Glose, (to gloss or comment on) also called Retruécano (play on words) is a commentary or expansion on words usually written by another. This poetic genre can be written in two different frames, a formal fixed verse form and a stylized strophic verse. A thematic statement known as la cabeza, (the head), mote (motto) or text, usually begins the poem and the poet then expands upon each line of that statement in the body of the poem. The mote is often a quote, written by someone other than the poet although it is perfectly permissible to write your own text. Sources I've found indicate the genre was introduced in late 14th, early 15th century Spain by the court poets. This form appears to have led to the development of the Vilancico. Note: In both frames credit should be given to the text, cabeza or mote source when it is written by another. It can be done by footnote or can be identified in the poem itself, to the right and just below the title, usually in small font The elements of the formal Glosa or Glose as fixed verse form are: written in five stanzas, a quatrain followed by four 10 line stanzas (Spanish 10 lines or less). The mote or text that opens the poem is usually a quatrain from another poem. It is often a redondilla. (Spanish) syllabic, 8 syllable lines or (English) metered, iambic pentameter. rhymed, (English rhyme in the 6th 9th and borrowed 10th line. Rhyme scheme ABCD xxxxxaxxaA xxxxxbxxbB xxxxxcxxcC xxxxxdxxdD. ABCD is the refrain established by the lines of the quatrain. x can either be unrhymed or rhymed at the discretion of the poet.) (Spanish A1B 1B2A2 or A1B 1A2B2 ababababA1 cdcdcdcdB1 ect.) or abbaabbaA1 cdcdcdcdB1 The elements of the less formal Glosa or Glose as a stylized strophic verse are: accentual verse (in the rhythm of everyday speech). consisting of 2 parts: Opening statement, a line or a short stanza that states the theme of the poem, The body of the poem is most often strophic, with one strophe of any number of lines for each line of the opening text. The strophe explains or expands on that line and then incorporates the line within the strophe, most often at the end as a refrain. The number of strophes or stanzas is determined by the number of lines in the opening text. rhymed or unrhymed at the discretion of the poet. Chimes by Judi Van Gorder " Prove all things, hold fast that which is good." 1 Thessalonians 5:21 King James Version Test the clarity of the bell and take heed when the tocsin rings; it will always serve you well to study and prove all things in a world of trickery and deceit, the sound of truth is often misunderstood, its resonant tones must repeat, hold fast that which is good. (note: Poems written as a result of or response to a meditation on scripture or another poem could fall under the genre of lectio divina.) Treasured Island by Judi Van Gorder "For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all of the horrors of the half-lived life." ----- Herman Melville from: Moby Dick The rocky cliffs rise above the sea, like a great wall holding back the watery main. Nations vie to control small bits of earth still, the appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, and erodes the soil 'til nothing's left but reef, like one who is stripped of all the frivolous trappings foolishly acquired in time, and then in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, a secret place which first must be found then explored and once known, treasured above all else. It is the prize esteemed the elusive isle… full of peace and joy The journey there will be filled with choices. To risk the rifts can be its own reward, stay anchored in fear and you will be encompassed by all of the horrors of the half-lived life. A Double Glosa can be written in either the formal or informal frame of the Glosa. In the informal frame the lines of the mote are repeated as a refrain twice in each strophe. AB xxxxxAxA BxxxxB (the placement of the 1st refrain may be anywhere in the strophe the 2nd refrain is usually the last line.) In the formal frame the refrain is repeated twice within the stanza. It is not specified but I assume it can be in addition to the rhyme of the L6 or it can be a replacement for the rhyme in L6. xxxxAaxxaA or xxxxxAxxaA.
Path to Stillness "Be still and know I am God." Psalms 46:10 Framed by glossy leaves dipped in Merlot, the corolla curves like the flounce at the bottom of a prom gown. And from the sculpted flutters, edged with a brush of crimson, shadows and swells wash from mustard to pale sunshine. A smear of red stains the back of one imperfect petal as if a pricked finger had reached out and stroked its buttery surface. At the hub golden nubs spread open releasing a gentle sweetness in invitation to the stillness I seek. Flutterby Rose (original) "Be still and know I am God." Psalms 46:10 Edged with a brush of crimson, the corolla curves like the flounce at the bottom of a prom gown and from the sculpted flutters, shadows and wells deepen from ripe yellow to subdued ochre. A smear of red, stains the back of one imperfect petal as if a pricked finger had reached out and stroked its soft surface. A faint fresh scent floats gently in seductive invitation and tiny pistils with golden nubs spread open to their center. Framed by glossy green leaves dipped in wine, in this moment, it is my path to stillness. -- Judi Van Gorder