Paula's Blog

October 6, 2013

The Language of the Heart – video format

Filed under: How we relate to God,poetry — applecherrypipz @ 8:03 am
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Here’s my recital of the poem I wrote “The Language of the Heart”. Enjoy! Do leave a comment if you have any ideas about what the language of the heart may mean. Thank you!


April 20, 2013

The song of an elf

Filed under: How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 8:49 am
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I prance through the forest,

gaeity in my feet, delight in my hair,

My smile brilliantly shining in the summer air.

The trees bow towards me, the flowers beam at me,

and birds chirp merrily in the verdant green.


I lift my elfin hat to the sky,

and pause to stare at the unlimited cloudless blue.

How short a life have I!

This elfin state of mine.


Afterwhich I come across a lake,

that reflected a mountain high and wide,

I lift my elfin hat to the sky,

how small a life have I!

This elfin state of mine.


I look left and look right

There is no one in sight

but my own horse, Benny is his name.

I lift my elfin hat to the sky,

what a lonely man am I!

This elfin state of mine.


I gallop across the green grass plain

and settle on a mossy hill,

looking out at rolls of green pasture

My legs are too short to run, I wheeze, I pant.

Nature is far too strong for me!

Aye, this elfin state of mine.


What a joy, what a privilege,

I proclaim, I see God’s mighty work

and who I am in contrast,

This elfin man in the magnificent green

with his horse and but half a penny.


The birds chirp merrily,

as I prance on, singing,

“Ah, this elfin state of mine!”.


March 19, 2013

“Intellectual beauty”

Is there something within us that craves for a much higher intellectual plane, something that can be called intellectual beauty? What is beautiful about our intellect? Is it something sublime and transcendent, nearly deified by Shelley?

This lyric hymn, written in 1816, is Shelley’s earliest focused attempt to incorporate the Romantic ideal of communion with nature into his own aesthetic philosophy.

Does the phrase “intellectual beauty” refer to the working of the mind or intellect, or the intellectual idea of beauty? Suppose intellect and beauty were demonstrated to have a close relationship in this poem.

The meaning of intellectual in the poem, according to The Oxford anthology of English Literature 1973, refers to the 18th century meaning “beyond the senses”.

It seems in a way deified by Shelley, as it shows him working to incorporate Wordsworthian ideas of nature, in some ways the most important theme of early Romanticism,into his own poetic project and connecting his idea of beauty to his idea of human religion, thus making that theme explicitly his own.

Is it primarily our intellect that differentiates human beings from animals? Perhaps this poem has implications for ideas of evolution and creation that seek to explain what humanity is in scientific terms. How can we apply the ideas in this poem to our own attitudes towards academia, education and related areas?

I suppose what I gain from this poem is learning how to admire the relationship between intellect, beauty and religion, just as one admires natural beauty. It’s just another aspect of God’s creation! I have also learnt how to appreciate Romantic ideals of beauty as defined by Shelley, something connected to religion that has transcendent qualities. Isn’t it great to have ideals from time to time!

Hymn to Intellectual Beauty
By Percy Bysshe Shelley  (1792–1822)

THE AWFUL shadow of some unseen Power

  Floats though unseen among us,—visiting
  This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower,—
Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,         5
    It visits with inconstant glance
    Each human heart and countenance;
Like hues and harmonies of evening,—
    Like clouds in starlight widely spread,—
    Like memory of music fled,—        10
    Like aught that for its grace may be
Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.

Spirit of BEAUTY, that dost consecrate

  With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon
  Of human thought or form,—where art thou gone?        15
Why dost thou pass away and leave our state,
This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate?
    Ask why the sunlight not for ever
    Weaves rainbows o’er yon mountain-river,
Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown,        20
    Why fear and dream and death and birth
    Cast on the daylight of this earth
    Such gloom,—why man has such a scope
For love and hate, despondency and hope?

No voice from some sublimer world hath ever

  To sage or poet these responses given—
  Therefore the names of Demon, Ghost, and Heaven,
Remain the records of their vain endeavour,
Frail spells—whose uttered charm might not avail to sever,
    From all we hear and all we see,        30
    Doubt, chance, and mutability.
Thy light alone—like mist o’er mountains driven,
    Or music by the night-wind sent
    Through strings of some still instrument,
    Or moonlight on a midnight stream,        35
Gives grace and truth to life’s unquiet dream.

Love, Hope, and Self-esteem, like clouds depart

  And come, for some uncertain moments lent.
  Man were immortal, and omnipotent,
Didst thou, unknown and awful as thou art,        40
Keep with thy glorious train firm state within his heart.
    Thou messenger of sympathies,
    That wax and wane in lovers’ eyes—
Thou—that to human thought art nourishment,
    Like darkness to a dying flame!        45
    Depart not as thy shadow came,
    Depart not—lest the grave should be,
Like life and fear, a dark reality.

While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped

  Through many a listening chamber, cave and ruin,        50
  And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed dead.
I called on poisonous names with which our youth is fed;
    I was not heard—I saw them not—
    When musing deeply on the lot        55
Of life, at that sweet time when winds are wooing
    All vital things that wake to bring
    News of birds and blossoming,—
    Sudden, thy shadow fell on me;
I shrieked, and clasped my hands in ecstasy!        60

I vowed that I would dedicate my powers

  To thee and thine—have I not kept the vow?
  With beating heart and streaming eyes, even now
I call the phantoms of a thousand hours
Each from his voiceless grave: they have in visioned bowers        65
    Of studious zeal or love’s delight
    Outwatched with me the envious night—
They know that never joy illumed my brow
    Unlinked with hope that thou wouldst free
    This world from its dark slavery,        70
    That thou—O awful LOVELINESS,
Wouldst give whate’er these words cannot express.

The day becomes more solemn and serene

  When noon is past—there is a harmony
  In autumn, and a lustre in its sky,        75
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!
    Thus let thy power, which like the truth
    Of nature on my passive youth
Descended, to my onward life supply        80
    Its calm—to one who worships thee,
    And every form containing thee,
    Whom, SPIRIT fair, thy spells did bind
To fear himself, and love all human kind.

December 20, 2011

Hear his voice

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10: 27

Jesus offers us a deep, intimate relationship with Him. learning to discern God’s voice and hear from Him is therefore such an interesting and exciting aspect of being saved, of being God’s child and Jesus’ disciple.

His Whisper

It is gentle and soft—almost airy
With a message designed for my ears only;
It drips with sweetness, draws my spirit close,
And protects the trust that experience knows.

It is hushed and tranquil and floats on the breeze
And the love that it carries buckles my knees,
And reminds me that I’m His priceless treasure
By promising a love that will not be severed.

Behind it He hides, until I am still
And eager and anxious in both soul and will.
It drifts on the air until reaching my heart,
And it speaks softly, “How precious thou art.”

It seduces my senses as I draw near to listen
And quiets the world’s roaring insistence.
Earthquakes and fires may light up the sky,
But, alas, His whisper will gently pass by.

– Submitted by member, Kristen Clark with His Witness Ministries

October 18, 2009

Rilke’s poetry

Filed under: poetry — applecherrypipz @ 1:50 am
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Recently, I have fallen in love with Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry.It is simple, yet profound. The words are simple, yet powerful. I believe it touches us at the rawest and deepest parts. In a few short lines, he gleans the essence of our humanity, speaking to us in captivating, intimate moments…

In the words of Stephen Mitchell:”That voice of Rilke’s poems, calling us out of ourselves, or calling us into the deepest places in ourselves, is very near to what people mean by poetry.”

[I find you, Lord, in all Things and in all]

I find you, Lord, in all Things and in all

my fellow creatures, pulsing with your life;

as a tiny seed you sleep in what is small

and in the vast you vastly yield yourself.


The wondrous game that power plays with Things

is to move in such submission through the world:

groping in roots and growing thick in trunks

and in treetops like a rising from the dead.



I absolutely love this poem. It describes the nature of power so well..

August 24, 2009

Sheep, lambs and New Zealand

Filed under: How we relate to God — applecherrypipz @ 9:17 pm
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On my bus ride from Auckland to Palmerston North, I couldn’t help but be struck with awe by the vastness and majesty of the landscape. This happened when I was cruising along the roads in some hilly areas, where sheep and cows grazed serenely.

The hills were a fresh, delicate green and were massive, gentle creatures which seemed to slumber in the distance. The sky was very blue and for the first time in many years, I could see the clouds in a more 3-dimensional way because I could see a much wider expanse of sky. The clouds were large and fluffy and seemed very benign!!

As we chugged along, one tiny bus amidst swathes of hill and grass, underneath an all-encompassing azure sky, I just sensed the majesty of all things, great and small. Most of all, I sensed how small I was in the greater, grander scheme of things, and felt an inexplicable sense of affinity with the things of nature, as if we had known each other for a really long time, and were really just familiar, old friends. This sense of affinity grew when I saw the numerous sheep and cows, accompanied by their lambs and calves. Such innocent, simple creatures, happy to just chew on the grass all day, happy to lounge about on the luxurious green carpet. Such harmless, humble and submissive creatures. How much I wanted to extend my friendship to them and call them my own!

The serenity and peacefulness of the grass-chewing baaing sheeps and lambs brought to mind how we are like. Men are described to be like sheep in the bible, and Jesus is likened to be the shepherd. If this is the case, how clueless and hapless we are!! and how much more Jesus is wiser than us. How much more we need His protection, His guidance!! and just look at How much he cares for us!! In Psalm 23 it says ‘the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.’ Thank God for letting me know again how much He loves and cares for me!!

Although I’ve only seen hills, and not mountains, God has brought me into a greater appreciation of His greatness!! If I can feel so miniscule when i look at those hills, ravines and valleys, how much more tiny will I feel when i am faced with the almighty Father!! and, how much more powerful and formidable He is!!when He says in His word that if I command the mountain to move, it will move, He is really telling me that He is powerful beyond measure, and has authority over all things of nature, no matter how big or small, even Mount Everest!! The Lord is the Lord over all the Earth and all things were created by Him and for Him. Great is the Lord and worthy of praise!! The extent of His dominion is immeasurable, His magnitude infinitesmal!

O ! the one Life within us and abroad,
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where
Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a world so fill’d ;
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
Is Music slumbering on her instrument.
And thus, my Love ! as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst thro’ my half-clos’d eye-lids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
And tranquil muse upon tranquility ;
Full many a thought uncall’d and undetain’d,
And many idle flitting phantasies,
Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
As wild and various, as the random gales
That swell and flutter on this subject Lute !
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversly fram’d,
That tremble into thought, as o’er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all ?”
Coleridge-The Eolian Harp.

How much more I appreciate this poem!! and all the praises in the Bible about how great God is!!

Psalm 148
1 Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights above.
2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars.
4 Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.
5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he commanded and they were created.
6 He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away.
7 Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
8 lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding,
9 you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth,
12 young men and maidens, old men and children.
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.
14 He has raised up for his people a horn, [b] the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the LORD.

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