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  • Kathy Shimpock

"Thinking Like a Butterfly" A poem by Mark Nipo.

When I share poems with a class, I follow the Benedictine practice of Lectio Divina. Lectio Divina means holy or divine reading. It is thought to be inspired by the Jewish reading of the Haggadah. In Lectio Divina, the reading is of scriptures, but I follow the same practice when reading poetry. Why? Poetry requires reflective thinking that is unfamiliar these days. When we read a poem slowly with contemplation, we discover insights that might be lost otherwise.


The following instructions for reflective reading, comes from the Benedictine practice of Lectio Divina (or holy reading). I find this process equally valuable for uncovering the wisdom of poetry.

  1. Read the poem linked above slowly.

  2. As you do so, look for a word in the poem that stands out to you.

  3. Now, read the poem a second time.

  4. What phrase stands out for you?

  5. What is this poem saying to you today? What message might you take forward?

  6. Can you relate to how the author’s perspective changes his life experience?

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