Good poems are like lingerie

Good poems are like lingerie: It covers just enough of the essential elements to spark the interaction.  Covering too much or too little isn’t lingerie nor is it art.  Before you think that I am a sexist, please know that my wife is more than essential elements, she’s “more than a body” (as the underpass graffiti reminded me each time that I traveled from the Desmond Hotel to the Paoli train station for three years in college), but bear with me for a moment.

It seems that many Christian artists, musicians or thespians are so obsessed with getting their point across that they have to spell it out for us, l-e-t-t-e-r  b-y  l-e-t-t-e-r.  Essentially speaking, their message is an Elizabethan nightgown.  On the one hand, I get their urgency: in their desire to evangelize, eternity may be on the line for their hearers.  But on the other hand, if they spend more time introducing their poem to the hearer than it takes to read the poem then their poem may not be good enough to communicate their message.  Perhaps if Christian artists spent more time trusting the work of God through their expressions, trusting that God can communicate important messages even through donkeys (in the Bible, Numbers 22:21-34), then perhaps they would show a little more ankle or wrist in their art, perhaps a shoulder blade.

Speaking of poetry, many folks are hesitant to engage poetry (a primary goal of this metaphor blog).  They have a singular view which includes a specific meter, a long word count, a lot of “thees” and “thuses” or a general feeling that poetry is meant to be read in lowly lit rooms while sitting on a duvet.  While I do like some metaphors that are weighty or philosophical, I don’t mind putting into plain words why a poem or news story resonated with me.

So… this page is my attempt to trust that the message of the metaphor can be communicated to the reader without any assistance.  But if you feel like you just went on a date with Emily Dickinson’s wardrobe consultant, you can come to this page where I will make some dotted lines about the metaphors that are posted.  Most of these dots are going to have some kind of faithful resonation.  I can’t help it, it is how God speaks to me.


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