I don’t read a lot of poetry, and maybe you don’t either, but here’s why you should give poetry a shot and buy An Ethic by my friend Christina Davis.
I met Christina when she sang with the Choral Society of Grace Church and when I was working on my book she is one of the people I went to for quotes about singing. I asked her to tell me what it was like singing religious music when you’re not particularly religious yourself. Here’s what she came back with.
“I am an agnostic verging on an atheist, but find that sacred music is not antithetical to my beliefs (in the way that sitting through a church service is). I’ve come to the conclusion that music alone (and not the liturgy) represents the essence of what I would find palatable and comforting in religion. When I sing or listen to sacred music I feel a primal, essential proximity of my fellow man; I feel that the word “god” is just a great Vowel surrounded by two consonants, something essentially open and going-forth. I can fathom others’ faith only through music: If, as Buckminster Fuller once said, ‘God is a verb,’ that verb is singing.”
Great, right? It’s not just that she can write well, but it’s what she’s saying. I could have skipped my whole chapter and just left her words. Poet and writer Forrest Gander had this to say about An Ethic. “Here is a book that has flapped up out of the startled dark of a parent’s death. Into the moment of recognition of a life apart. A part of life. The syntax, precise and probing, repeatedly extends beyond only apparent completions, beyond easy finalities, into an always unforeseen.”
For more about Christina Davis and this book and others, go here.