Are we Ready for a Poetic Crossing?



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The concept of the Poetic Crossing is quite fascinating. I don’t necessarily have a desire to write such poetry (though I won’t rule that out completely).  I am rather intrigued by the philosophical background which touches my inner spirit. To get to my spiritual interpretation, I feel the need to explain what a poetic crossing.

I came upon the term “poetic crossing in a small piece of an interview I was reading one day and though my interpretation differs slightly with that of the interviewer, we were close enough.

The most current description I found was from an article posted in the Georgia Review in the fall of 1976 [1].  It is a fairly dry, yet profound reading and after much time spent interpreting the author’s representation and leaning on my eldest son’s assistance, I found the interpretation that worked best for me.

My Interpretation:

A written (poetic) word that intervenes in the to-and-fro movement between metaphoric beliefs and an expression of pity or compassion.

One example the author used was taken from Wallace Stevens’ poem “The Snowman”. Further perspective regarding “The Snowman” was pulled from Wikipedia and I actually concurred with the writer’s thoughts.

snowman photo by Adam Excell via Unsplash

“Stevens has the world look at winter from a different point of view. When thinking of winter, one might think of a harsh storm. One might also think snow and ice to be a nuisance. Stevens wants people to see the opposite view. He wants the world to look at winter in a sense of optimism and beauty. He creates a difference between imagination and reality.” [2]

Global Poetic Crossing

It is difficult to avoid the topic of politics in this exceptionally unstable segment of history. But looking at everything going on around the world, are we globally heading toward a Poetic Crossing? Is it time to view our world differently? Might we be ready to be optimistic and see other nations in all their beauty instead of the harshness that is displayed in the media 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? I wonder if we even have a choice. It amazes me to no end how frightening this option is to people around the globe. And I ponder the fact that our fears are far greater than the actual results of such a crossing over.

National Poetic Crossing

Pretty much the same as above; with the addition of our extremely differing political parties, racial/ethnic backgrounds, regional cultures and passionate causes. We shout at each other (sometimes using the same rhetoric, yet with different circumstances) but we don’t listen to the other party’s argument. We have begun to look at anyone unlike us as something unattractive or as a nuisance.

I remember reading a magazine article back in the 1990’s about an experiment between Christian Pro-life women and women who considered themselves passionately Pro-choice. Before the event was to take place, each side had to write an opinion about the other. Not surprisingly, both ends of the spectrum used the word “Nazi” to describe the other. Sounds pretty darn spiteful to me.

The first activity had two women from each party (Pro-life/Pro-choice), sit on the floor opposite of one another. They were instructed to look into each other’s eyes but not say a word for a specific stretch of time. Before the time was up, just about every woman there was sobbing and hugging. They had begun to see each other through God’s eyes, as God’s creation. They experienced a manner of Poetic Crossing.

Do I see this happening at a greater level in this nation? At this point, I see no other way to go. Many say it cannot happen. But there is always faith. It seems at this time, there is far too much fear of the unknown. But we are not in control of the universal/spiritual realm. Bottom line we are not in control of God’s will.

Community-Wide Poetic Crossing

“I don’t like alternative people” – Quote from Rid of Me

Many of our communities run the same way they have for decades. We possess generational prejudices, traditions, and clashing lifestyles. We are diverse. What would happen if we were to start viewing each other in optimism and beauty? What might happen if we saw how we could use each other’s cultural/spiritual gifts, skills, and knowledge to improve the way our communities function? I believe that there is so much opportunity for efficiency in adopting such practices in our neighborhoods. Will it be perfect? Not at all. But I believe it will be better.

Many successful companies have implemented such culture. So have religious organizations. Every New Year’s Eve, religions from various nations join together in prayer. The event is called the International Hour for Peace. All differences are put aside and each religion joins together in unified prayer.


Personal Poetic Crossing

Of course, such a crossing would have to start within us at an individual level. Can we look upon things in a manner of compassion rather than hanging on to the beliefs that have been so ingrained in our thoughts that we have no possible way of looking at other truths?

“Festinger’s (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance)” – Simply [3].

Are we ready to cross over from this fear of disharmony? Am I? Are you? I hope so. Because when we have truly crossed over, I believe we will experience authentic bliss.

“Let’s cross over” – Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

Stay Blissful My Friends – E

  1. From the Georgia Review Fall 1976
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