Wordless Witness Video Poetry Readings

poetry, video
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Last year I wrote a book of poems based on incidents in the Gospels, called Wordless Witness. Here’s the blurb for it:

St. Ignatius gives some guidelines about how to pray with passages from scripture, especially the Gospels. He recommends that in order to enter more fully into a scene from the ministry of Jesus, for example, we try to imagine ourselves as one of the characters in the drama, maybe one of the protagonists, Peter, James, John? Or maybe imagine yourself as a bystander observing what was going on. But what if you took it further and imagined yourself as an inanimate object, a cup, a rock, a mountain, or an animal like the donkey on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem, or even something as insubstantial as the cloud that parted at Jesus baptism? All of these played a key role during the ministry of Jesus. What if you could see things through the eyes of these Wordless Witnesses.

The poems in this book take on this point of view and present Gospel events from a new and surprising angle, which sheds light on the nature of Jesus, and also what it must have been like to be close to the person who created the universe but humbled himself to come among us as a man.

It is fascinating to imagine what it might have been like to be one of those wordless witnesses and many of these poems delve into the circumstances leading up to the event itself, what actually happened and what the results were for the witness and the lead players.

So at the end of Lent 2020, I decided to record myself reading some of the poems – the last 6 in the book, which are “A Bowl,” “A Rooster,” “A Thorn Bush,” “A Sponge,” “A Spear,” and “A Cloth.” Each of them refers to elements surrounding the Passion of Jesus Christ and each tells its own story in the course of the poem. I created some movies to accompany my readings and these are now on YouTube on my channel under a separate playlist, HERE. I then posted the link on FaceBook and Twitter.

I think these poems are particularly helpful for Holy Week to prepare for Easter!