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Poetry as Prayer. How do we pray? By prayer and supplication we pour out our desires before God, asking as well those things which tend to promote his.

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Presentation on theme: "Poetry as Prayer. How do we pray? By prayer and supplication we pour out our desires before God, asking as well those things which tend to promote his."— Presentation transcript:

1 Poetry as Prayer

2 How do we pray? By prayer and supplication we pour out our desires before God, asking as well those things which tend to promote his glory and display his name, as the benefits which contribute to our advantage. By thanksgiving we duly celebrate his kindnesses toward us, ascribing to his liberality every blessing which enters into our lot. David accordingly includes both in one sentence, "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me," (Ps. 50:15). Scripture, not without reason, commands us to use both continually. Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, IV.2.28

3 Devotion through the image


5 Devotion through imitation






11 Poetry: Devotion through imitation Thrice happy women that obtaind such grace From him whose worth the world could not containe; Immediately to turne about his face, As not remembring his great griefe and paine, To comfort you, whose teares powr'd forth apace On Flora's bankes, like shewers of Aprils raine: Your cries inforced mercie, grace, and love From him, whom greatest Princes could not moove: To speake one word, nor once to lift his eyes Unto proud Pilate, no nor Herod, king; By all the Questions that they could devise, Could make him answere to no manner of thing; Yet these poore women, by their pitious cries Did moove their Lord, their Lover, and their King, To take compassion, turne about, and speake To them whose hearts were ready now to breake. Aemilia Lanyer, The Daughters of Jerusalem, from Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum

12 Poetry: Devotion through imitation Most blessed daughters of Jerusalem, Who found such favour in your Saviors sight, To turne his face when you did pitie him; Your tearefull eyes, beheld his eies more bright; Your Faith and Love unto such grace did clime, To have reflection from this Heav'nly Light: Your Eagles eyes did gaze against this Sunne, Your hearts did thinke, he dead, the world were done. When spightfull men with torments did oppresse Th'afflicted body of this innocent Dove, Poore women seeing how much they did transgresse, By teares, by sighes, by cries intreat, nay° prove, What may be done among the thickest presse, They labour still these tyrants hearts to move; In pitie and compassion to forbeare Their whipping, spurning, tearing of his haire.

13 Let mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this, The intelligence that moves, devotion is, And as the other Spheares, by being growne Subject to forraigne motions, lose their owne, And being, by others hurried every day, Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey: Pleasure or businesses so, our Soules admit For their first mover, and are whirld by it. Hence is't, that I am carryed towards the West This day, when my Soules forme bends toward the East. There I should see a Sunne, by rising set, And by that setting endlesse day beget; But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall, Sinne had eternally benighted all. Yet dare I'almost be glad, I do not see That spectacle of too much weight for mee. Who sees Gods face, that is selfe life, must dye; What a death were it then to see God dye? It made his owne Lieutenant Nature shrinke, It made his footstools crack, and the Sunne winke. Poetry: Meditation Models John Donne, Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward

14 Could I behold those hands which span the Poles, And tune all spheares at once, peirc'd with those holes? Could I behold that endlesse height which is Zenith to us, and our Antipodes, Humbled below us? or that blood which is The seat of all our Soules, if not of his, Made durt of dust, or that flesh which was worne By God, for his appare'l, rag'd, and torne? If on these things I durst not looke, durst I Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye, Who was Gods partner here, and furnish'd thus Halfe of that Sacrifice, which ransom'd us? Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye, They'are present yet unto my memory, For that looks towards them; and thou look'st towards mee, O Saviour, as thou hang'st upon the tree; I turne my backe to thee, but to receive Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave. O thinke mee worth thine anger, punish mee, Burne off my rusts, and my deformity, Restore thine Image, so much, by thy grace, That thou may'st know mee, and I'll turne my face. Poetry: Meditation Models

15 Rise heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise Without delayes, Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise With him mayst rise: That, as his death calcined thee to dust, His life may make thee gold, and much more, just. Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part With all thy art. The crosse taught all wood to resound his name, Who bore the same. His stretched sinews taught all strings, what key Is best to celebrate this most high day. Consort both heart and lute, and twist a song Pleasant and long: Or, since all musick is but three parts vied And multiplied, O let thy blessed Spirit bear a part, And make up our defects with his sweet art. Poetry: Meditation Models George Herbert, Easter

16 I got me flowers to straw thy way; I got me boughs off many a tree: But thou wast up by break of day, And broughtst thy sweets along with thee. The Sunne arising in the East, Though he give light, & th East perfume; If they should offer to contest With thy arising, they presume. Can there be any day but this, Though many sunnes to shine endeavour? We count three hundred, but we misse: There is but one, and that one ever. Poetry: Meditation Models

17 Poetry as Prayer Types of Meditation Posture Preparation

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