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This Week in the Reformed Journal: On Keeping Your Mouth Shut and Trying to Learn Something

This Week in the Reformed Journal: On Keeping Your Mouth Shut and Trying to Learn Something
By Jeff Munroe, Editor • Issue #75 • View online
Dear Friends,
When I listened to Cameron Brooks explain the influence of Kathleen Norris’s book Dakota on his poem “East River, South Dakota,” the poem’s wandering exploration of various desert fathers and mothers fell into place. I’ve been tooting the horn of our poetry podcasts for a few weeks and am not about to stop today. Check it out for yourself, along with Cameron’s other poem, “Expecting.” The latter poem is about infertility and longing, which I’ll return to below.

East River, South Dakota
Expecting
Like Kathleen Norris, Jim Schaap also explores the spiritual geography of the Dakotas, and this week we published a review of his new book Small Wonders: A Museum of Missouri River Stories. The review was done by frequent contributor Howard Schaap. It’s Schaap on Schaap. Jim and Howard are not closely related, but it’s impossible to look at that last name and not conclude they’re part of the same flock. 
Small Wonders: A Museum of Missouri River Stories
Jim Schaap also wrote today’s piece on our blog, a reflection from reading the letters of the wife of an army officer assigned to the West following the Civil War. The letters from Mrs. Grierson express an opposite experience from Cameron Brooks’s poem “Expecting.” Mrs. Grierson keeps getting pregnant, and is depressed to the point that she mentions suicide and abortion in her correspondence. I was not expecting that level of transparency from a 19th century woman. But there it is, leading Jim to conclude that he should just keep his mouth shut and try to learn something about a subject he can’t fully understand. Then, if you return to Cameron Brooks’s poem “Expecting,” you see the same point is being made.
What I learned from Mrs. Grierson*
Our editors concur with Jim’s sentiments, and as a result we invited five women to write prayers for our post-Roe world. Please read the prayers, and, if you are a man, please do what Cameron Brooks and Jim Schaap are, each in their own way, asking you to do.
Prayers for a Post-Roe World
As always, there is more at our home page.
Blessed Reading,
Jeff Munroe
Editor
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Jeff Munroe, Editor

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