Living Room Series: Poetry of Lent
Join us on Saturday, March 4th for an interactive evening of poetry centered on the themes of Lent. The readings will be crowdsourced: we invite you to bring your favorite poems for the season to share with the group. All forms and eras welcome—and you can even bring original verse if you’d like! We won’t so much be analyzing as simply appreciating.
Lent is a forty-day season of penitence and renewal preceding Easter, its span representing the time Jesus spent in the desert enduring temptation and preparing for ministry. We start out on Ash Wednesday by remembering our mortality and hearing the priest’s call: “Repent, and believe the gospel!” The sin struggle is real, but God’s grace calls us, now as always, out of our death-dealing ways and into the abundant life secured for us by Christ.
Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (acts of charity) are the three traditional Lenten practices; how have the poets engaged these?
And then Lent concludes, of course, with the events of Holy Week, from Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem on donkey-back to his last supper and agony in the garden to his trials, crucifixion, and burial. Christ’s passion has inspired many thousands of poems over the centuries, which immerse and emotionally invest us in the ancient scenes, expound on the theological significance, and/or locate contemporary resonances. What does Christ’s death on the cross mean for us today?
All these themes and more are worth considering in the season of “bright sadness,” as it’s known in the Orthodox tradition. The connection to Lent need not be overt, and the poem need not even be “religious”—though it can be. Think expansively!
Location: The Horst Family Home in Crownsville, Maryland. The address will be emailed to reservation-holders the week of the event.