During the Apologetics Research and Writing class I took and Dr. Ordway taught, the class was assigned her book Apologetics and the Christian Imagination. Though each chapter concluded with a poem, my initial reaction was to skip the poems, as I doubted my ability to comprehend them. I ultimately reconsidered. Dr. Ordway’s poem “Maps” particularly jumped out to me as a piece of writing that was both accessible and powerful. While there were other influences since then, “Maps” stands out as one major reason — if not the major reason — I really discovered the power of poetry. This poem is an expression of gratitude for Dr. Ordway for opening my eyes to a new way of seeing. In a sense, her poem “Maps” was a map for me, leading me into a world of poetry. I followed her sonnet format to help me describe my original misunderstanding of poetry, my later abandonment of it, and my current love for it.
“Maps,” My Map
I once feigned an interest in poetry,
More as an opportunity to write
Down my feelings in some odd looking form,
Never really looking beyond myself.
Later I was focused solely on prose,
Striving for the precise, unambiguous.
Certain this was the only way one should
Seek to awaken a slumbering world.
“Maps” invited me on a different path,
Beyond feelings, and mere statement of fact.
Not just to awaken, but to enchant,
To see heaven in the ordinary.
……“Maps”: My first step on a poetic road
……Where wonder grows deeper, the farther I go.
Jesse Baker is a United Methodist pastor and has previously written for An Unexpected Journal. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.
Jesse W. Baker, “’Maps,’ My Map,” An Unexpected Journal: The Imaginative Harvest of Holly Ordway 4, no. 4. (Advent 2021), 171-172.
Direct Link: https://anunexpectedjournal.com/maps-my-map/