Reflections from Seminary Students

Poem for Practicum – “Victus”

November 8th, 2010 § 0 Comments

“Practicum” is one component of the graduate theological program here at SPU. Basically, the practicum locates the meeting point between what you are learning in the classroom and what you discuss with your mentor. Hopefully, it is taking theory and context and putting your own ideas into practice.

For my practicum, I decided to write poetry. The content is informed by what I learned at the time. Contextually, I envisioned this poem posted on the wall of the worship hall of a church in which I would pastor. The composition itself is a response to William Ernest Henley’s poem “Invictus” which, to me, speaks of the human soul as a deity unto itself neither created by God nor will succumb to any other authority but itself. I somehow came upon the poem during my studies and found it problematic. In fact, I felt that I just needed to write a response to it.

                       Victus

Out from the Light that pierces all,
Word of creation, breath of life;
I exhale thanks for my conquered soul,
To the Living God of Abraham’s knife.

In Crucibles clutch, I cry aloud,
To God, my faith and fear will sing;
My head is bludgeoned, bloodied, bowed
Mirroring the strength of my King.

A child of dust, I shall return
To the One alone who welcomes me;
Love Alive is my hope to earn
“victus”, the victor’s identity.

It matters to sheep to enter by gate,
And to goats, if name is not on the scroll;
Blessed are those who share Steven’s fate,
Woe to the unconquerable soul.

-Raoul Perez

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