Poetry and the Christian Poet

Poetry Workshop The Christian Poet Vernon L. Harper

Poetry is important 
to any society and the poet has an 
important responsibility. The
poet must speak truth to the society around them
failing this he or she ceases to be a 
poet and becomes something less than 

The poet must encourage, accuse, 
reveal, and represent the society around 
him or her without regard to how that 
society might receive the given views and
observations. Any society that does not 
value objective observation about 
itself is a society in danger of succumbing 
to the worst parts of itself. Few others can
stand within a society but speak to it as an 
outsider as the poet can and must.

The Christian poet’s responsibility is greater 
still for he or she must stay true to the 
spirit of God beyond their own worldly passions 
and expectations. The Christian poet must 
speak a message to all people that at times 
is as difficult to speak as it is to hear.
Therefore God’s poet must be an intercessor. 
Representing God to people and even 
people to God to bring reconciliation 
and healing.

One need only look at the 
psalms of David to understand the scope
of the human plea spoken by such a poet. 
One can also look at the prophet Jeremiah 
to see how the poet can speak for God to 
a society in need of change. By using these 
two examples I am not saying that all poets 
are prophets but it is not a stretch to presume 
that all prophets are poets.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to us for we are told 
that God himself is the master Poet. The word
rendered workmanship in Ephesians 2:10  
in many translations is in the original Greek poiema. 
Poiema is where we get our English word 
poem. We our God’s crafted expression. 
We are God’s poem.

Join us as we explore what it means to be a Christian poet.


Adapted From The Introduction To The Book: Christian Poems and Other Radical Explorations" 

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