Columns by Martha Serpas

The Need for Roots


Prayer, writes Simone Weil, is absolute unmixed attention. So is poetry. Paradoxical. Present tense. My poetry has also been influenced by Weil’s concept of decreation, “undoing the creature in us.” Rather than use the landscape as a metaphor for the self, I have applied her concept concerning human transcendence to the land. The destruction of Louisiana’s wetlands and the loss of Cajun culture embody theological longing: Tragic destruction is required for new creation.

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