Friday, June 06, 2014

Jesus Postures Our Voices to Speak His Words

I often refer to blank verse in A Course in Miracles, i.e., 10 syllables per line, the rhythm, slack STRESS, iambic, and I do not want to leave the impression that every line is iambic because that would be weak and sing-songy.

Jesus, the Master Poet, uses the poetic metrics that have come down through the centuries to vary the rhythm, so that He can posture our voices to speak the lines as He intended, emphasizing certain words, sound echoing sense.

For illustration I have selected the first stanza of Lesson 157, Into His Presence would I enter now, demonstrating the slack STRESS pattern.

1.    THIS is a/ DAYof/ SI lence/ and of TRUST./
2.    It IS/ a SPE/ cial TIME/ of PROM/ ise IN/
3.    your CAL/ en DAR/ of DAYS./ It IS/ a TIME/
4.    HEAV en/ has SET/ a PART/ to SHINE/ up ON,/
5.    and CAST/ a TIME/ less LIGHT/ up ON/ this DAY,/
6.    when ECH/ oes OF/ e TERN/ i TY/ are HEARD./
7.    THIS DAY/ is HO/ ly, for IT/ USH ers in/
8.    a NEW/ ex PER/ i ENCE;/ a DIF/ ferent KIND/
9.    of  FEEl/ ing AND/ a WARE/ ness. YOU/ have SPENT/
10.long DAYS/ and NIGHTS/ in CEL/ e BRAT/ ing DEATH./ DAY/ you LEARN/ to FEEL/ the JOY/ of LIFE./

As you can see, 8 of these lines are strictly iambic, slack STRESS:  2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

In Line 1, Jesus wants to emphasize this day and silence and trust, and so he purposely broke the iambic pattern with:

/THIS is a/
/DAY of/
/and of TRUST/.

In Line 4, He wants to emphasize heaven:

/HEAV en/
In Line 7, He comes back to this holy day:

 /ly, for IT/
/USH ers in/

For a more complete explanation of poetic metrics in the Course, please take a look at my Preface to “The Rhythm and Reason of Reality:  Prose and Poetry in A Course in Miracles.”  In His Course, Jesus shifts from prose to poetry in the Text in Chapter 26, and in the Workbook, in Lesson 98. 

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So, I am sitting on our couch in our Sun Room, looking through the large windows on three sides, gazing at the dark green leaves on the branches gently bowing in the slight breeze, and consciously breathe in and breathe out, my feet firmly grounded on the floor, and slowly read aloud the first stanza of today’s Lesson, 157, Into His Presence would I enter now, the cadence of the blank verse matching the beating of my heart, the tip of my finger on my carotid artery, each beat the STRESS and the space in between, the slack:

when ECH/ oes OF/ e TERN/ i TY/ are HEARD/

This is a day of silence and of trust.
It is a special time of promise in
your calendar of days. It is a time
Heaven has set apart to shine upon,
and cast a timeless light upon this day,
when echoes of eternity are heard.
This day is holy, for it ushers in
a new experience; a different kind
of feeling and awareness. You have spent
long days and nights in celebrating death.
Today you learn to feel the joy of life.