When we limit beauty, we limit our ability to flourish as humans. A glory of the world God made is that beauty, objective beauty, is expressed in many different ways. One result of sin is an inability to see certain types of beauty.
Merely seeing “common humanity” is not enough, we should be able to see the beauty in our fellow humans. Why? The beauty is real and failure to acknowledge reality is never a good idea. God has made a world so beautiful that all of us, at one time or another, need to sing, write poetry, make a speech, create a garden.
Beauty should be acknowledged and poetry made if you can.
I wrote some bad poetry as a boy, but at least I was encouraged to try. Nobody told me boys did not write poetry or that people like I am do not have anything to say.
That’s not always true for everyone. Priscilla Jane Thompson had poetic talent, but not a nation eager to hear what she had to say. She was a romantic, but could find too little romantic poetry for women who looked like she looked (The Song).
One way to measure where the Spirit of the Lord is to be found is to measure the liberty to sing if you can sing, create if you can, and speak if you have the call. Here is Thompson:
THE MUSE’S FAVOR
Oh Muse! I crave a favor,
Grant but this one unto me;
Thou hast always been indulgent—
So I boldly come to thee.
For oft I list thy singing —
And the accents, sweet and clear,
Like the rhythmic flow of waters,
Fall on my ecstatic ear.
But of Caucasia’s daughters,
So oft I’ve heard thy lay,
That the music, too familiar —
Falls in sheer monotony.
And now, oh Muse exalted!
Exchange this old song staid,
For an equally deserving —
The oft slighted, Afric maids.
The Muse, with smiles consenting,
Runs her hand the strings along,
And the harp, as bound by duty —
Rings out with the tardy song.
The poet boldly says she is bored with the white voice she hears and hears only to hear some more. However good the voice was at the start, too much of even a good thing is tedious.
Africa’s women are equally deserving, if oft slighted Thompson observes.There is a different voice, another perspective, an equal beauty, that must be heard. The Muses oblige, because all God’s children can be inspired and create. The nation should listen as the diversity prevents tedium.*
Human civilization needs all the beauty we can make. A tyrant thinks his single voice is enough for a nation, but a tyrant dies a bore. In the Trinitarian God there is endless possibility for variety, but an individual human is not so blessed.
A racist society misses the beauty of many and the poetry of beautiful embodied souls. The other notes, the parts unsung because suppressed, turn the society into a bore, a tyrannical institutional wicked old bore.
Listen. We can hear the song, tardy, but being sung.
*The injustice is the worst harm done, but the tedium of sin is what Thompson notes.