Friday, August 18, 2017

Luther's 95 theses + my found poem

This summer I've had the chance to travel to Germany, visit extended family, and see the sites of Martin Luther's life in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. When we went to the city where Luther nailed his famous 95 theses to the church door, I thought it might be fun to "nail" my own statement on that same door. (The doors are now bronze, so no actually nailing occurred!) 


So, I downloaded an English translation of those 95 theses (originally in German) and worked on creating a "found" poem using those words from Luther so many years ago questioning the status quo. I wanted to use at least one word from each of the 95 theses (so at least 95 key words!). It took some doing, but I made something that turned out to be surprisingly meaningful for me. I "hammered" it to the door in Wittenberg where Luther nailed his original 95 theses. So fun and meaningful to do! Thought I might share it here too. 


You can find the whole text for the original (in English) here. (It's LONG!) Here's a step back to look at the whole church-- pretty impressive! (I brought a goofy "Flat Luther" with me on this trip to pose at various spots, so that's why he's in front of the church. Don't judge!)


It was also cool to see that the German Lutheran church had sponsored an art exhibit of doors (more doors!) to focus on celebrating diversity and honoring those with special needs. Here is a glimpse at that exhibit made of many doors, too. 


Now head on over to Kay's blog, A Journey Through the Pages, where she is hosting all our Poetry Friday goodness. 

13 comments:

Tabatha said...

I enjoyed this post from top to bottom, Sylvia! Doors, Flat Luther, and especially your found poem. (Was your found poem what you "nailed"?)

Liz Steinglass said...

Hi Sylvia, I absolutely love your found poem. What a wonderful idea and what a wonderful trip.

Mary Lee said...

Your poem is beautiful and true. I love that you made new strong words out of old strong words.

I did literally laugh out loud at your Flat Luther!!

And OH! Those doors!!

Janet Wong said...

OK, I am judging . . . and I say that Flat Luther is FANTASTIC!

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Kids peom
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsd6yvb4hHc

katswhiskers said...

Wow. What a rich and meaningful post. I love your preparation. I can only imagine how satisfying and enriching (and not to mention exciting) this trip must have been, based on all you'd done in advance.

Also - those doors!

Kay said...

What a cool experience! Thank you for sharing it with us. You have given me ideas for my trip to England next year!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Love. Love. Love. Love. ... Okay, was going to write it 95 times but that seems a bit excessive, even to me. What a glorious, meaningful post, Sylvia - thank you for letting us in on such a special trip, and of course you found a way to commemorate it with poetry! And, like Janet, I'm judging Flat Luther to be PERFECT - Ha!

jan godown annino said...

Appreciations for adding to The Door, asking us if we know what is important, honoring Luther & such inventiveness with the paper hammer & paper flat Luther. Fun but also mindfulness. Gutten.

Carol Varsalona said...

Sylvia, this post leads me to reflect on my own thesis. Your poem was an act of diligent self-reflection. I can see why your are pleased with it. Flat Luther is a nice touch for an amazing trip.

Brenda Harsham said...

I love your poem, especially where it is punctuated with staccato one-word lines, and then becomes more fulsome. So like the way my mind works: staccato, legato and round again. I even love your flat Luther, which made me smile, having taken some photos of flat stanley myself for various beloved children. I've often wanted to visit Germany.

michelle kogan said...

Your poem is wonderful, rich, and timely–hope it finds an even larger audience! What a fun, colorful, caring post all around, thanks for all Sylvia!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Y'all are so kind! Thanks so much for stopping by and for all your lovely comments. This was a very special, personal moment for me and I was somewhat hesitant to share it, but I'm glad I did! There's a place for poetry in nearly everything we do!