From "Three Poems Every Christian Should Read"
Next to reading the Bible, probably nothing inspires, moves, or teaches me like specific poems. I saw this article recently and clicked to see what the 3 poems were. I agree with choosing “God’s Grandeur” and “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent.” I probably would have chosen another poem besides “Good Friday,” (like “Seven Stanzas at Easter” by John Updike or “A Hymn to God the Father” by John Donne).
But Christina Rosetti did write two of Wayne’s favorite Christmas songs: “Love Came Down at Christmas” and “In the Bleak Midwinter” (the latter of which was chosen as the favorite Christmas song by NPR’s audience, which tells you something about NPR’s audience). So I give her credit for excellent devotional poetry.
John Milton’s sonnet on going blind, the first of the poems, has a profound last line. If you don’t get the point of it, read the editor’s explanation following it. My mother quoted this line innumerable times to me growing up. It would be a good poem/concept to introduce to many Camp Barnabas campers.
The third poem is one of my all-time favorites. Gerard Manley Hopkins is my poetry idol/teacher/master. Every word of his poems is packed with meaning and multiple meanings. As I’ve mentioned before, I wrote a 14 page paper on this poem in grad school. I love so many more of his poems I would have a hard time picking a favorite. But this one is a top contender, because it describes how God’s grandeur is evident and continually reflected in nature, even though man may not notice. Man mars the world with his sin, but God’s Spirit continually renews and rebirths his creation.
Even if you are not a poetry lover, read these three poems and the editor’s analysis of each one following. I often do not like a poem the first time I read it, but it grows on me.