I'm currently putting together material for a workshop on Poetry and Prayer. I've had my wrist cyber-slapped for insisting on the close relationship between the two; I'm passionate in my belief that banal and over-specific language has no place in our liturgies and refuse to accept that the language of the supermarket is suitable for every situation.
At the moment I'm wondering just how much non-specialists (and I don't necessarily mean liturgists) are aware of language as a tool. Are they like me with this laptop - able to use it fairly effectively to do what they want it to, without any glaring errors, but unable to tell you how or why it works, even if they wanted to? For I'm aware that my "class" will be an amazingly bright and thoughtful one, in no need of background info on the subject matter of the poetry - but what about the workings of language? imagery? rhythm? Do people who have not spent their lives teaching others how to communicate effectively, or how to analyse the writings of others, think about the effect of a word, or a line break, or the connotations of an expression? I don't know.
So, dear readers, you have two days in which to enlighten me - and to ensure that my workshop isn't going to teach my grandmother to do something she can do standing on her head!