For an Asian American uncomfortable with poetry, he sure knows a lot about it. I am a closeted artist, too. Too yellow for my skin to paint. I could critique until the sun went down. I think we Asian American men need to get over their feminization of our color and gender and howl like a colorless Ginsberg. Poetry as Lerner proposes is a redemption of our society because there lies the human spark & stain, but I wouldn’t go as far as Jesus. They would kill you like George Floyd Jr., MLK, Gandhi, etc. Poetry has gone to the ways of cheesy teenage dramas about Emily, Rap, Classical music, the Christian Church, and Disco. Why? I think you hit the nail on the head when you brought up Design & the Designer. Either there is one or not. If there is none, well look out your windows.
Take a look at how much Robert packed into a simple phrase:
“I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth.”
So a stupid spider ate another moth on an herb. Big deal
Or as Peggy Lee would croon:
“Then one day he went away and I thought I’d die, but I didn’t
and when I didn’t I said to myself, is that all there is to love?”
Yes, we all have trouble engaging with that silly spider because we are checking Medium stats or taking a photo for our Facebook but decided to take a Selfie instead. Poetry is dead, get over it, please. You asked: “Does God even control something as small as a white spider holding up a moth?” Is there poetry in a stupid moth? Apparently Frost thought so. And as he playfully wrote them into his play: Frost put evil on a web suspended on a heal-all, then shouldn’t that lazyPrunella vulgaris help us from being devoured on our web? Where was God today when we were eaten? He was inside us all along.
Poetry like any creative endeavor is a cheap imitation of the greatest designer that we could never match. It’s in Jazz, in a child’s play, in anything but a grownup. We reach for the impossible because God does and children do. It is a futile task, but like a moth to a flame or a fly to the cosmic web, we are caught by inspiration when we are not ourselves and become a translucent expression of the Divine. In other words alone with God and in his divine presence ultimate freedom, far from the maddening COVID-19 infected crowd..