It is no secret that I love poems. What is a poem? Is it words in painting, lyrics in songs, a medium for self-expression? Poem is far more than these. Poem is a “thing made”.
“Poem” comes from the Greek poíēma which means a “thing made”.
This begs the question: if poem is a thing made, what kind of thing is it?
The Bible has an answer!
God is the first poet! In the Bible, poíēma is used ONLY TWICE and both times in reference to the creative power of God.
First, when God created earth, referred to as “things that are made” in Romans 1:20. That phrase—“things that are made”—is translated from poíēma.
And second, in Ephesians 2:10 which speaks to the recreating of our hearts, referenced as “masterpiece”—and that word is also translated from poíēma.
So in essence, the thing made—poem—is God’s work of art both as Creator and Redeemer. I’d say poem is both the beginning of life—creation, and the re-creating of life—the redemption of humanity.
Going back to the initial question, if poem is a thing made, what kind of thing is it? The answer is in this poem:
From the source of spiritual cosmology
Conceived in rhythmic movements
Birthed through pulsing, pushing
Punctuated by intermittent pain and joy
Giving meaning to the ineffable
Obscured in allusions
Developed in plots
Composed in stanzas
In fragmented syntax of challenges and victories
Linguistic coding lyrics of uninhibited joy with unimaginable sorrow
Alliteration of life’s idioms of transformation
Reciting poignant epigrams of wondrous elocution
In metres to know and be known
Evolving through spiritual healing
Resolutely declaimed: live in the everlasting now
Climaxing in all that was created
Shabbat Shalom! God is the unparalleled Poet. And of all that He’s created, we are His workmanship, His masterpiece—we are His best poem.
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Thank you for journeying along.