Friday, November 30, 2012

dVerse Poet's Pub "Child-Like Faith" (text from Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy)

Erasure Poem & Artwork by Margaret Bednar
Child-Like Faith

Divinity is the law of right and wrong
come into the world by revelation

which I am made one with other men,
one body of believers:

The Church.

Jews, Mohammedans, Confucians,
Buddhists? What of them?

Can men be deprived of God?

The movement of stars,
the rotation of earth,
complicated and marvelous!
Unattainable by reason.

I intently face starlight.

As a Christian,
vain and uncertain,
my soul questions...

I have no right to decide!

all of a sudden, like a child,
faith has taken root,
and I, 
still unable to understand,


by Margaret Bednar, 11-29-2012

This is an Erasure Poem, text from the novel "Anna Karenina", by Leo Tolstoy for dVerse Poet's Pub.  For details click on the link, but for a shortened explanation: Erase words until you get a poem.  It is much harder than it looks.

I will be around on Friday to read all the posts to this challenge.

I'm not sure mine even says what I had hoped .... but so much evil is done in the name of religion.  I say, leave it up to God to judge and decide.  I'm even tired of evangelists... just LIVE your faith and that should be enough - DON'T come knocking at my door.  If someone asks me about it, of course, I'll share. But enough hatred, enough with intolerance for those of differing faiths.

On another note, I am so excited to see the movie Anna Karenina.  I've already seen Skyfall and Lincoln, and I also have The Hobbit and Les Miserables to look forward to!  

I haven't read any reviews... but these "Russians" sound quite English to me!  :)  


Claudia said...

oh made a piece of artwork out of the text..wonderful..seems it's like hundred years ago since i read anna what you've done...the facing starlight..the movement of stars, rotation of earth..great lines..

AJ Walker said...

Excellent, excellent. This was very well written to make something so...special from the source material.

Sabio Lantz said...

Very cool art work here. How did you do that? (may I ask?)

I strongly dislike movies about aristocrats, social elite, royalty and such, but this film looks mildly interesting. And, after reading, the novel is very highly rated. So perhaps I shall watch it -- thanks for the YouTube inclusion.

Very cool erasure -- it is amazing that you got the novel to say that for you. Makes me more curious about the Novel -- I will have to see the movie.

Concerning religion: Apparently you are a Christian but apparently a inclusivist or perhaps even pluralist Christian -- my favorite sort (see here). Inclusiveness is the only way to peace in a world of "Truth-is-Ours"! Did your children inspire you to be more inclusivist over the years, or have you always been like that? (following)

Brian Miller said...

Can men be deprived of God? nice question which for me is the hinge....also like the humility in realizing we dont have all the answers....and so we do pray...

Brian Miller said...

and love your art you did on the page margaret....very fun...

Margaret said...

Sabio. Thank you. I'm a Catholic who believes God judges hearts not "religion". I strongly agree the only way to peace is this attitude! The artwork I did by hand, inspired by my daughter who did a very detailed journal like this for visual arts class. The movie - well it will be "Hollywoodized" but I'm hoping for the best.

Margaret said...

And. Can man be deprived of God? Can we lose Heaven. I believe yes, but we send ourselves to Hell. But that is a whole other conversation. :)

Sabio Lantz said...

@ Margaret,
Ahhh, cool, thanx for the reply. My wife is/was Catholic too -- and though she believes in no gods, she believes, like me, that it is people's hearts and actions that define them, not their stated beliefs.

@Brian Miller,
If one says, "Can men[sic] be deprived of Scorasytmon?" It all depends on how one defines "Scorasytmon", doesn't it? And from what I have seen, there have never been definitions that people agree on nor can they really test if they are true in any real way.
So praying to Scorasytmon seems a little odd to me.
Funny how intuitions vary, eh? Words can trick us.

Margaret said...

Oh. And life and experience has shaped me.

Margaret said...

Just read the link. I guess my view is much simpler. A Christian view, I believe. Love is a verb, we must always seek truth, God judges hearts, we can lose Heaven BUT God's grace is certainly the only way we get in. That's my "sermon on the mount" :)

Sabio Lantz said...

@ Margaret,
Since I don't believe in Yahweh, Allah, Krishna, Amida, Zeus or any other such entities, I don't worry about judgement. But I do believe with you that "Love is a verb, we must always seek truth." If your god honors that, without the need for creeds or beliefs to get in, I might be OK. ;-)

sreeja harikrishnan said...

lovely thought and wonderful art work...very creative....Great!

Margaret said...

Seek truth and I believe you have a chance. :)

Sabio Lantz said...

Actually, I stopped 'seeking' and now just explore and play -- much more pleasant! ;-)

Sabio Lantz said...

PS -- have all 6 of your kids stayed in the faith or are some of them helping you push the envelope?

Mary said...

Very well done, Margaret. I loved the artistic way you accomplished this, and your message is a good one. I do want to see the Anna K. movie. Maybe this weekend!

izzy said...

Love the photo /art! and the poem,discussion after- not that I debate beliefs; although to "be more inclusive" certainly fits with my thoughts on the matter. I do belong to an Interfaith Church...and another spiritual fellowship which does teach tolerance! I agree that in-your-face,save-your-ass conversion is extremely unpleasant.
I attempted an erasure poem but was nervous about linking it-I used a book that I wanted to ( not from the free and clear list) Although I did give credit-so I might just post it- but not link.

Margaret said...

Hmm. I think the answer is a bit of both. Some have strayed a bit but they are in college. Time will tell with them. But the younger ones are more prone to keep me going to church. Imagine that. We discuss things often. Lots of conversation and pondering.

Margaret said...

;). I hope you do post it.

Anonymous said...

Some time I will explore this erasure method. I'm curious about the new film only becasue Tom Stoppard worked on the script. As always I an skeptical about the Anna/Vronsky roles. NO movie yet has had two actors with the right chemistry. I can never buy their passion, why she would chuck it all for him. Love the book.

The Happy Amateur said...

I enjoyed your collaboration with Tolstoy, Margaret. Made me want to reread the novel. The whole post struck a chord with me. Although I generally think "religion, politics and the big pumpkin" are taboos, I like the calm and respectful confidence you express your views with. You prove that those hot topics may actually result in a civilized conversation, rather than a hateful brawl we witness way too often.
As for the movie, being Russian myself, I'm skeptical about foreign movies depicting Russian life. I'm always uncomfortable watching them, because notwithstanding their good qualities and aspiring to be authentic, they are not. The Russian feel is just not there.
On the other hand, if on watching the movie, even just one person decides to check out the novel, reads a good translation of it - it will be a success.
Sorry for such a lengthy comment :-) Thanks again for the post.

Green Speck said...

You weaved in such a beautiful art with this post ... loved it !!!

Sabio Lantz said...

@ Margaret,
I think that even if any of your kids wander from the Catholic faith, they will never wander far from Mom and the fantastic values your have nurtured in your family.

And those matter far more than any particular religion.

Anonymous said...

Just returned from a website that offers you pages from texts to create them. I'm addicted.

Anna Montgomery said...

This was thought provoking as evidenced by your comments. Inclusiveness, some kind of workable pluralism that goes beyond tolerance is called for in my mind. Enough about my thoughts; you've taken the text to another level with your erasure and created something both of and beyond the original. Thank you very much for joining us.

Anonymous said...

I love your artwork! It speaks to my hippie soul. :)

Really strong opening:
"Divinity is the law of right and wrong
come into the world by revelation"

These are also deeply thought-provoking:

"Can men be deprived of God?"
"I intently face starlight"

"As a Christian,
vain and uncertain"

"and I,
still unable to understand,

Excellent, inspiring poem. Thank you for sharing this, Margaret. I'm going through the same struggles, and in the end, all we have is prayer ... even if we can't quite grasp faith and understanding.

Daydreamertoo said...

I wish we humans would wake up and see that we humans created all religion. I do believe in a prime creator. The universe didn't just 'happen' something had to have started everything off at the very beginning of time. But, I wish we could all just follow the one true religion and see that, it is love. Everything in existence is through and because of love. If love were the prime motive for belief we would have no need for any different faiths to fight over. Love is the key which opens all doors. I believe we create our own version of Heaven or hell right here in this life. We get to choose which one by the actions we take.
Truly enjoyed your erasure Margaret, lots of food for thought and the artwork is really good too.
One day, I hope we will all 'get' it. But, the religious divide just keeps on growing wider by the day and, the willingness to die to prove a point is insane yet, still they do.

Daydreamertoo said...

P.S. Did you get my email about puppy tips?

Daydreamertoo said...

My boy is 8-10 pounds. He can hold his pee for 8-9 hours. I got it so that I stayed up until midnight to let him out for his last pee, then through winter, I cover him with a dog blanket so he's warm and snuggled and being warm he tends to sleep in too.
You can always train your puppy to a litter tray, like cats have. My neighbour has a dog which always uses a tray. It's where the dog has acccess and can come and 'go' as he pleases. I had another friend whose poodles did the same thing. I know you can get scented litter to encourage cats to go in them, maybe there's something to attract puppies/dogs to use one too?
Good luck.

Nico said...

Amazingly good! I just keep looking at it and can't get enough. Beautiful thoughts, near and dear to my own approach.

Kim Nelson said...

This spiritual piece seems to have sprung intact from the source piece. You managed to create a new tone, an enhanced meaning as you clipped and connected Tolstoy's words into a whole new work.

Margaret said...

I want to thank all of the generous comments. It made my day.

Anonymous said...

Well done! It is one of my favorite books. I have some trepidation about the movie but I think it's supposed to be quite good. k.

Ginnie said...

Most interesting comments from this post, Margaret! BRAVA! And I had no idea the Anna Karenina movie was coming out. OMG! The movies may come late here but they eventually come. Ironically, Skyfall came here before the USA because of Europe, I guess (Bristish made). We saw it immediately! :)