Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jesuit Connections to Poems

Erin Soracco
English 101.21
September 12, 2012
            “The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education” written by Peter- Hans Kolvenbach clearly defines what the Jesuit schools strive to do. Having faith, committing to justice, and giving to others makes up a person following Jesuit traditions.  Other writing works, like poetry, also show some of these traditions through them.  These ideas may not be obvious like the work written by Kolvenbach, but the reader can still point out the important facts.  Three other poems, “Mending Wall,” “Common Ground,” and “Slam, Dunk, and Hook,” and the work written by Kolvenbach all show critical actions of the Jesuit traditions.
            “Mending Wall,” by Robert Frost describes a disagreement between the speaker and his neighbor.  The speaker wishes to take the wall down because he does not want the separation from his neighbor, but his neighbor wants to keep it up and is stubborn.  He thinks that, “Good fences make good neighbors.”  In “Common Ground” by Judith Ortiz Cofer, the speaker talks about how she has a lot in common with her family, and they share a common ground.  The poem “Slam, Dunk, and Hook,” by Yusef Komunyakaa is about a basketball player who sees way more in the sport than just the game.
These poems, even though maybe not clear at first, all relate to the work by Kolvenbach.  Staying close to people who need help, like the speaker tries to in “Mending Wall,” is important in the Jesuit tradition.  The neighbor is does not appear to be poor or sick but he still needs assistance to realize it is important to be close to people in life.  Having a “common ground,” with people in the poem “Common Ground,” as stated in the poem, is also critical in the Jesuit tradition as well.  The speaker uses imagery like “my grandmother’s stern lips,” and my father’s brows arching” to relate them to herself and show that everyone is equal and important.  Finally, in “Slam, Dunk, and Hook,” the speaker describes basketball than just more than a game.  The Jesuits see Christian faith as more than just believing; it is needed to give and serve, too.  This poem and the written work are not directly related, but they still show a similarity in seeing more than what is right in front of you.  The “dignity of human life, the quality of personal and family life…..and serving the human community” are of extreme importance to the Jesuits, and also are seen in these poems.

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