I've reflected before on the importance of art and beauty in the Church. With my seniors at Ritter, as we dive into the topic of "vocations" this semester, I have spent some time looking at art and what the Church says about its importance in our daily lives. I challenged the seniors to realize that they are all called to be artists in whatever forms of expression that God has blessed them with. I also then encourage them, over time, to produce art for class. The first piece of art they produce has to be a poem of some kind. While some of the kids certainly do their poems during homeroom, I also received some FANTASTIC work this year. One of them was so good that I wanted to share it on here. It comes from Emily Wesling, who gave me permission to put it on here. I feel like I've read a decent amount of poetry, and this is one of the best poems I've ever read!
"Elegy to Optimisim" by Emily Wesling
So call me naive - a lighthearted fool,
Dead and cold is the Age of Innocence,
Hence in a sense only senses are jew'l,
O when did love's execution commence?
Were it in songs of sensual pleasure?
In pornography's ocular thieving?
Women transform to chests without treasure,
When cynics gain the pow'r of deceiving.
Have worth, I tell you - Hold close your ideals,
Be not a fruit of ephemeral flame,
Transcend despite death and wrong on your heels,
Graze upon hope 'til you earn a new name.
They call you Naive, but that - is your pow'r,
Over lemons sucked dry - alone - and sour.
If you ever wonder if there are young people waiting to charge out of the gates and do good in the world, hopefully this poem answers your question.
May we all continue to try to see the poetry in our lives and seek to express the beauty and pain that we encounter daily in ways that bring hope and joy and beauty to others!