The Hard, Holy Work of Paying Attention

One of my favorite poets is Luci Shaw, and one of my favorite writers/people (and alumnus of the MFA program I’m currently finishing at Seattle Pacific University) is my friend Allison Backous Troy, who recently wrote about Luci’s work for the Good Letters blog.

Luci’s poetry has taught me this: paying attention is hard, holy work, and we must do it all the time. And we must bring others to see what we see, make them stare a little longer than they are comfortable doing, in order to see the beauty and difficulty of the world that we live in.

This is what it means, in Luci’s work, to “taste and see”—to examine what is around us with an open heart, and to recognize that what makes the world feel frightening to us is often our own fear, which, when faced, can give way to something more.

It’s worth a read, especially if you think you don’t “get” poetry (as is Luci’s work).


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