Poetry as Modern Prayer: Language’s Orientation Towards One Another


  • Benedict Reilly Fordham University


Secularism, Poetry, Hannah Arendt, Amy Hollywood, Prayer


Historically, we have looked to religion for answers to the deep questions of life, but an increasingly solitary valuation of logos has left secular society unsatisfied with traditional answers. Grounded in analysis of the personal value of poetry and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, I first argue that there is an abstract, life-sustaining attribute of humanness which we should point towards. Then, calling upon Amy Hollywood's notion of “Secular Death,” I explain that this humanness comes from a valuation of ideas which extend beyond the realm of what is logically valuable. Recognizing the aversion of contemporary society to previous sources of humanness, namely prayer, I conclude by asking each individual to be a poet, using the tools of language to pull human persons towards one another.