Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"Germination" Discussion

Day 3 is Sarah Dunster's poem "Germination."

On our podcast discussion of the Lit Blitz yesterday, Nicole and I talked about how we define the "Mormon" in Mormon Lit Blitz. While many pieces have Mormon characters or imagery, like the first two days of this year's Lit Blitz have, we actually think of the "Mormon" label for our contest as defining audience: we want pieces that speak to us in some way as Mormons, that are richer in the reading with a Mormon context.

"Germination" is an example of a finalist without overt Mormon characters or imagery.

Does it speak to us as Mormons in some unique, richer way? Or is it just a great poem that would mean as much to anybody?


  1. I am going to ignore my own question and just say: I feel kind of like this poem. Coming back to the world after a year in hospitals and quarantines, this makes a lot of sense to me.

  2. It's like Sarah has been busy building her own greenhouse or something and growing plants are on her mind!

    This is very much an "in the world but not of the world" poem. While this is a generally Christian idea, I think it speaks particularly to Mormons who often feel like red-headed stepchildren of the Christian faith tradition as well. The image of letting your roots really grow in the earth (in the world) and gain strength from it is very Mormon. Part of the reason we are even here is to have joy and make the most of this life, not just look forward to the life to come.

  3. I like Merrijane's thoughts, but I see this as a bit more literal than metaphorical. For me gardening is an intersection between the secular and sacred. Yes, it's food for the belly - in some ways the most "down to earth" you can get - but Eden was the first temple here, when you think about it. It's where God walked with Man and Woman, and it's the backdrop for much of our most sacred learning. In my garden, I am particularly mindful of the feminine divine, of the power that makes both seeds and hearts swell. The concept of thriving (thanks to strength drawn from Mother Earth) despite those things that "would like to rule you" struck a particularly feminist chord in me in light of that. It was a delightful glimmer of subversive, utterly impervious joy.

  4. It kind of makes you want to stretch and get out in the sun and do something hard and new and shiny. I don't often get that sort of a feeling from a poem--usually I just want to sit and think--but I feel like this one is begging me to also do.

    Good thing it's summer!



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