What is the “poetry” of a long married life? A tender reflection.

April 16, 2013

More poetry of married love
Peggy Rosenthal writes: “Life’s fragility: That’s what George and I are experiencing more than ever now. Of course, life is fragile from the day you’re born. But major illness can bring this reality to the forefront of consciousness. Right now it moves me to look back over our forty-plus years of marriage. And to look at them through the lens of poetry. . . .”

This deeply moving essay, with the poetry it includes, defines the ideal essence of marriage more than any of the formal definitions being debated today. It speaks of love between two persons totally committed to each other for the long haul, delighting in each other, marveling that the two found each other, relishing the shared simple occurrences of daily life, treasuring memories, feeling gratitude for the experience of belonging to—and with— another human being (and in particular this human being), braving life’s storms together.  Rosenthal’s article comes from Good Letters, the blog of the literary journal Images, a part of the Patheos website. Peggy Rosenthal is a literary critic who writes on poetry as a spiritual practice and leads poetry retreats.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.