I started off this NaPo intending to write 30 prayers and charms. The prayer bit sort of took over and as I wrote, I began thinking more and more about relations with the divine (however defined) and the imperatives and texture that go into those relations. I recently hit something of a wall with the prayer-writing and so have decided instead to read religious texts, with an emphasis on finding text that strikes me at the same time as poetry. (Read them with voice, I mean – which is not at all the same thing as reading them with one’s head.)
Starting with what is most familiar to me seemed like a good idea. I was raised a Christian in the Anglican tradition and, text-wise, just happen to be most familiar with (and fond of from a poetry perspective) the King James Version of the Bible. I noted in a blog post yesterday that one thing I did realize while thinking about writing prayers is how similar to a (dysfunctional, co-dependent..?) romantic relationship one’s relationship with the divine can be, which made starting with the KJV version of the Song of Songs an immediate no-brainer. I’ve posted the first half of the Song at Whale Sound today (just under 10 minutes worth of audio), and may or may not get to the other half. Partly because I also want to research and voice religious texts from other traditions that approach the divine in roughly similar fashion — ie essentially as love poetry, in whatever form.
I’d be grateful for any suggestions others may have for any texts, from any and all religious traditions.