Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Open mouth and insert...

Last week in our Sunday afternoon Education for Ministry seminar, Janet Finkelstein shared the following poem she had written:

Dear Lord look down on me
And please let me see
that since I'm living in the South
I've got to shut this Yankee mouth.

Put some sugar on what I say
in my own caustic way
but if this is too hard to do
please open mouth and insert shoe.

I misunderstood her and for the better part of the week, I thought her last line of the poem read:

please open mouth and insert You.

referring to God inserting God's own self into her mouth instead of the caustic Yankee. Well, it turns out I was wrong and when I told her what I heard, she still preferred the line with "shoe."

Having worked with a variety of editors on eight books I wrote with my wife Victoria, I know what she means. She wrote the poem in her own voice and changing one word changes the meaning enough that even if I like it, that is my voice not hers. And expressing her voice in words may have been the point all along.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand,
which he had taken from the altar with tongs.
He touched my mouth with it and said,
"Behold, this has touched your lips;
and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven."
—Isaiah 6:5-7


  • At 1/29/2007 8:57 AM, Blogger anything but typical said…

    So does that mean we can change "Holy, Holy, Holy" back to the way Reginald Huber wrote it?

  • At 1/29/2007 1:07 PM, Anonymous kenny said…

    Can I get an amen to that!!


  • At 1/29/2007 4:40 PM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    I run into a similar problem many times in my owm writing when two words seem appropriate but neither fully conveys what I am trying to say. I eventually gave up and resorted to putting a forward slash between the words and including them both. I believe it enriches the writing by multiplying potential meaning/interpretation.


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