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Poetry And Religion

 Religions are poems.
They concert our daylight and dreaming mind, our emotions, instinct, breath and native gesture into the only whole thinking: poetry.
Nothing's said till it's dreamed out in words and nothing's true that figures in words only.
A poem, compared with an arrayed religion, may be like a soldier's one short marriage night to die and live by.
But that is a small religion.
Full religion is the large poem in loving repetition; like any poem, it must be inexhaustible and complete with turns where we ask Now why did the poet do that? You can't pray a lie, said Huckleberry Finn; you can't poe one either.
It is the same mirror: mobile, glancing, we call it poetry, fixed centrally, we call it a religion, and God is the poetry caught in any religion, caught, not imprisoned.
Caught as in a mirror that he attracted, being in the world as poetry is in the poem, a law against its closure.
There'll always be religion around while there is poetry or a lack of it.
Both are given, and intermittent, as the action of those birds - crested pigeon, rosella parrot - who fly with wings shut, then beating, and again shut.

by Les Murray
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