Phenomenal Servant



The whole idea for “video poetry” began with this piece. I wrote a poem for Wilma Jakobsen (my priest at All Saints Church Pasadena), when I learned she was leaving us to become rector of a church up in Cupertino, California. I workshopped the poem with the folks in the All Saints Writer’s Group, and my closest friend in that group – Keith Holeman – suggested that I give the poem some exposure by making a video out of it. Instead of just handing the poem to Wilma as a gift, “supersize” her gift with visuals and music – then post the video on the web so everyone can celebrate Wilma with me.

The whole idea of telling a story in three different languages (poetry, imagery and sound design) – the conceit of all my video poetry – finds its beginnings here. I adapted a poem by Maya Angelou (“Phenomenal Woman”), edited a song by Maranatha Singers (“Make Me a Servant”), and married both with images of Wilma’s ministry to young people (20s/30s of All Saints), provided by Will Gatlin.

Within an hour or two, the piece had a hundred hits on YouTube. Keith was right. My poetry would never be the same.

Miss you, Wilma!