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Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

A Poet Knows Why We Memorize the Catechism

Today (June 6) is yet again a good day for preachers and pastors at the The Writer’s Almanac. The day’s poem has something to say about hermeneutics and the meaning of language. It will likely set a few teeth on edge. The notes for the today include a few paragraphs about poet Maxine Kumin. She was a professor at Tufts. As such she required her students “to memorize 30 to 40 lines of poetry a week so that they grew familiar with the sound of poetry. She said: ‘The other reason, as I tell their often stunned faces, is to give them an internal library to draw on when they are taken political prisoner. For many, this is an unthinkable concept; they simply do not believe in anything fervently enough to go to jail for it.’” Consider, brothers, how this line of thought corresponds to our insistence that the people learn the Catechism and some Bible passages by heart. You can subscribe to The Writer’s Almanac at the link above and every day you will get a poem via a e-mail along with historical, literary trivia and quotes relates to that calendar date. The quote from Kumin comes on June 6 because that was her birthday. The Almanac is a great way to start (or continue) to read poetry and to make it part of your every day life.