SharingPoets@StPaul - October 2021

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

Read this month's unabridged discussion starter below. And make sure to send your name and email to Fr. Tom Holahan, CSP at tholahan@paulist.org to be included in the discussion group if you haven't already done so!

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SharingPoets for October 2021

Right now two art exhibits, far apart in style, speak to the poetic vision. “Companions in Solitude,” at the Met Museum, draws on the pleasures of deep conversation as well as the kind of solitude required for that to happen. Although the poems, written in Chinese characters, are not translated, anyone can see that tranquility, sought after a busy life, is a very rich reward. Majestic rocks and trees, foaming streams and evocative mists are celebrated and enjoyed.

The poet often finds the natural world filled with inspiration too. But it must be sought, either by planning the “walk in the woods” or prizing the chance to escape from routine into nature whenever it appears.


The second art show, at the Whitney, is a retrospective of 91 year-old Jasper Johns. This artist employs many contemporary styles but one of his strengths is to focus intently on ordinary objects: the light bulb that survived a house fire, the knife and fork from the dinner table, two cans of ale. Through bronze or brushes Johns embellishes his experience of these common things. What can the poet take and bring to art in words? It does not have to be something amazing in itself – the poet is capable of interpreting powerfully what is overlooked by most. Why not find some object around the house that has accumulated your memories and give them free reign…in a poem!


Please share your poems or tell us what you are currently working on. And, definitely, get out and walk in the woods when the colored leaves appear.


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