The three pieces of writing we had to read for today’s class were Jane Hirshfield’s Happiness, Hopkins God’s Grandeur, and Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find, also in lieu of the first week of events I had to attend one this week which was a reading by the poet, Gioia. With these topics there was one overarching theme in their references to God and grace, I believe in the few poems I listened to Gioia tell too, he has a subtle reference to love and God in all the works he presented. God, as put by all the readings is goodness and shows compassion and love in the entire world for better or worse.
The short story, A Good Man is Hard to Find, epitomizes the idea that God shows compassion and love in all things. This story describes a family where, the grandmother believes she is better than anyone else and tries to manipulate other people to get what she thinks is right and good. God, as theology describes him is only good, which relates the Grandmother to believe she actually is a Godlike figure, meaning she is sinning more than anyone. As the story progresses she they are found by a serial killer that just recently escaped from prison, named ‘Misfit’. The interactions between their family with other people they meet, with themselves and with the murders prove that this family is just as sinful and as wrong as the murderers are. The grandmother illustrates this issue and does not go on to fix herself until she finds herself staring, literally, at death right in front of her and has a realization that what she does is wrong. This realization is given to her by God and his grace to forgive humans for sin and wrong doing in their lives.
Happiness by Jane Hirshfield is a poem written about the concept of nature and how it is God’s gift to humans. Hirshfield early on relates this to God by referencing St. Francis, which as I understand, is the Patron of Animals and Nature. St. Francis is referenced because of the looming theme of the environment and what it has to offer humans. As I understood this poem, it seems that Hirshfield believes that God gave nature and animals to humans as a gift. She explains all the different types of emotions and personalities animals and the world posses that can be easily learned by people to become better. Hirshfield also uses the word mercy in the poem, which is one of God’s traits that makes him good, this relates to grace as God gave nature as a gift to humans in order for us to learn and improve our race by learning from other animals as they try and survive.
The final poem I had to read was, God’s Grandeur written by Gerard Hopkins. This poem once again references God and nature, just in this case in the negative way towards humans. Hopkins claims in this Italian sonnet that man is destroying what God gave us in the form of nature with all our inventions using it for our own needs. The second part of this sonnet, in my view focuses on God’s Grace and compassion by saying that nature can never be spent as it was Gods gift to mankind and no matter what we do the element of nature will always be around us and always present in our lives, helping the human race in whatever ways possible.
The event I attended was a reading from poet Gioia who described his life, his writings, how he accomplished them, the importance of writing and he read a few of his essays and poems to the audience. Dana Gioia believes that writing is an essential part of life and the most important major you can get from a college because of the power it posses, the power to get your point across eloquently and persuasively expressing your views and opinions of different topics. While Gioia was reading his poems I feel like he subtly portrayed God in each of them relating humans and their interactions to God’s views on things. The event was very interesting and worthwhile as the audience was able to hear a very good writer express the meanings of his own works and explain the importance of being able to properly learn the skill of writing as it relates to many parts of life.
With three writings and Dana Gioia’s presentation God and his gracefulness were an important factor in all. The writings related to the goodness of God and how he is graceful and merciful to all things from nature, to human mistake and to people sinning constantly without realizing it as all these writings exemplified.