Today’s Scripture: 1 Samuel 10:5-7

After that, you will go to Gibeah of God. Some Philistine soldiers are stationed there. As you approach the town, you will meet a group of prophets. They’ll be coming down from the high place where they worship. People will be playing lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps at the head of the group. The prophets will be prophesying.  The Spirit of the Lord will come on you with power. Then you will prophesy along with them. You will become a different person.  All of those things will happen. Then do what you want to do. God is with you. (New International Reader's Version)

In September I attended the memorial service of one of my most influential professors at Hollins University, Professor Eric Trethewey.  It was important for me to attend as I worked closely with him for the better part of three years.  He was my honors’ thesis advisor senior year and my professor for both Romantic Poetry and Modern Poetry.

Artwork by Marty Halloran

Artwork by Marty Halloran

Why had this grumpy, albeit brilliant, intimating professor made such a lasting impact?  In September, I would have said that through his teaching, I gained a sense of self.  After reflecting on this devotion and 1 Samuel, I would say that through poetry I found a way to worship God.

I share a world view with the romantic poets, Wordsworth in particular.  I love the idea of an interconnectedness of the world.  Through the lyrical, naturalist language of the romantic poets, I found a place to worship. The language of these poems is nourishment for my soul.  It shows what I need to be spiritually sustained.

And then I took the moderns, the brutal foil to the beauty I find in Wordsworth, Shelly, Byron, and Keates.  The rose colored glasses Wordsworth gave me were caustically stripped way by Ezra Pound and T.S. Elliott.  (Thinking about them gives me anxiety.)  They show what causes me to shut down, close off, become defensive.

Close study of the Romantics were my group of prophets.  The spirit of the Lord did indeed come on me with power.  I became a different person.  What a gift!  Thank you, Professor.