Poetry has always been a part of my life. The favorite gift of my childhood, was a big blue book of selected poetry, a collection of poems for children. Part of my love came from the times spent with my father, who loved to read these to my brother, sister and I.  By the time I was ten I could recite, the Owl and the Pussycat, Little Orphan Annie and several of Ogden Nash’s quirky poems. “I eat my peas with honey, I’ve done it all my life. It makes my peas taste funny but it keeps them on my knife.” This poem is still recited at the dinner table, when the peas are served. Now, my eight-year-old granddaughter Josie, can recite this little ditty with great pride.

Both of my parents were avid readers. They set a great example for us, going to the library often, reading aloud to us and encouraging us to find the subjects that interested us. My mom’s favorites as a child, became my favorites, Little Women, Cherry Ames, The Bobbsie Twins became my first chapter books.  Admittedly, when I was about twelve, I would sneak and read her Harlequin Romances, they were so sexy! 

Reading serves us well not only imparting knowledge but also inspires imagination, and helps us to express our own feelings; helping to give us words to our emotions. When we read the Bible, we are gifted with all sorts of prose including: poetry, history, genealogy, comedy, mystery, love stories, metaphors and analogies.

If you are a poetry lover try the psalms, you will find deep meaningful words which relate to many of our modern day challenges and joys.
A few months ago, I challenged my parishioners to write an autobiographical poem called, “I come From.” Templates for the poem can be found on-line. The reason I asked them to do this was to help us get to know one another at a deeper level. Writing an autobiographical poem is an easy way to share our story. It gives people a chance to get to know us in a deeper and meaningful way. I share mine with you today and encourage you to find a template and work on yours, share it with your family and friends. Poetry is life!

- Noblesville’s Teri Ditslear is a pastor whose column appears Saturdays in The Times. Contact her at pastor@rolcommunity.com, on Facebook or at www.rolcommunity.com