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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Turning Point

In poetry, a volta means a turning point indicated by a change of thought, scene, emotion, or perspective. When used as a common devise in classical sonnets, the volta typically turns an idea or argument in a different and, sometimes, unexpected direction.


Our country needs a volta.


Religious leaders, politicians, law-enforcement officers, COVID patients, shop owners, CEOs, and decision-makers for homes, health care, and schools need more workable, problem-solving perspectives.


As I’m writing this, we’re in the church season of Lent, which rhymes and often equates with “repent.” Unfortunately, social media (or, rather, anti-social media) seem to fixate on what’s wrong in the world rather than turning toward specific solutions worth suggesting.


Poets also have the opportunity to work toward a worthwhile volta – not by turning toward simplistic answers that show no understanding of peoples unlike ourselves or situations unlike any we've experienced. Sometimes we make a difference simply by asking questions relevant to our times. Last night, for instance, this poem appeared to me, saying what I've been wanting to say:


Turning Points

The tide turns on the privileged ones
who rank themselves above the law
and have nowhere to go but down.

What will the downtrodden do
to make things right? Will they
shout and fight or give everyone
the benefit of the doubt?

Will they treat others the way
they were – or Way they wanted?
Will they return the love God gave?

Will they turn to finger-pointing –
or be fair, be kind, be brave?


Mary Harwell Sayler, ©2021





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