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Ren Powell's Mercy Island

Understand (a poem for Big Tent Poetry)

Wordle: Velveteen Rabbi wordle

A wordle word-cloud featuring words I've recently used on this blog. See it full-sized here.





If you want to understand
    the God of the Torah,
        of the Exodus, if you want

to experience that first
    redemption along with
        the children of Israel

you need to learn
    how to breathe new air
        how to receive

how to cup your hands around
    the name of the person
        you are still becoming

together with your family
    open your home, inner-city
        or country, to all

who hunger, to the harbinger
    of the future who sips
        every Pesach from his cup

your children can teach you
    to experience revelation
        they remember the wonders

our story is old
    but today is new
        come, find the miracles

This week's prompt at Big Tent Poetry invites us to use their various poetry tools to spark a poem which will take us somewhere new. I decided to try creating a wordle word cloud; I went to and gave it the URL of this blog, and from this blog it drew the words I've used most often of late. (You can see the word cloud it created at the top of this post.)

The word cloud fed my own words back to me in a new way. Stripped of their context, they gleamed like new jewels. It was fun to take these words (which are, after all, the words on which I've lately leaned the most) and reorganize them into something new.

I did something like this back in 2005, when I used an online blog profiling service to tell me which ten words I used most often and then crafted a sestina using six words Blogpulse chose for me. Intriguingly, the two poems generated out of repeated words on this blog don't share many repeated words, though I think they're thematically pretty similar.

Here's a link to the Come One, Come All post so you can see what others did wth this prompt.