Poetry and poetic language reach beyond ordinary, daily speech to put words to human experience in vivid images and expression. Poetry in rap and hip-hop and Latino music make the soundtrack for our North Camden neighborhood. Along with that music pounding in the streets and in countless headphones, church music sung without self-conscious and with great energy is grassroots poetry expressing the range of human experience.
Generation and culture keeps rap and Spanish music out of my reach. And I will share about church music in an upcoming blog entry about beauty in Camden. This essay offers a reflection using poetry of Walt Whitman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mike Morgan, and Gerard Manley Hopkins that offers insight and challenge for service and social justice.
A City Invincible
Walt Whitman lived with his brother’s family in Camden in the 1870s, and then in 1884 bought a house here where he lived until his death in 1892. A line from Leaves of Grass serves as the motto for this city: “I saw a city invincible.”