About the Pope


by Kirby Congdon…….

The change in the church has been noticeable. Even in the Methodist church this writer knows that playing cards was gambling and prohibited as a sin for those born about 1856. And eighty years ago in 1955 Catholicism was still an exclusive sect. Heaven and hell were real entities governing many youngsters who were seeking guidance for behavior in small towns. Now Pope Francis has emphasized the unity of mankind in general. Other ideas are still discursive matters but the relaxation of narrow viewpoints is a relief and an advance toward a common understanding of what were formerly emotional tensions. The separation of church and state remain a wise reference but the improvement of conversations between various ideologies is a positive development relieving us of unnecessary conflicts in our own private psychological developments.

Among the celebrations each contemporary religion was represented by a statement, a prose-poem or song at the Foundation Hall in the memorial area of the World Trade Center on Friday, September 23rd. One young man provided a wordless composition of keening that encompassed an elaborate presentation of sheer beauty to a rapt audience that brought tears to this listener’s eyes because it was an experience in music that he had never had before. We did not need faith to convince ourselves that the performance was any good.

The activities put together on the next day in Philadelphia to honor the Pope were, for this reviewer, inventive but unconvincing. One family’s testimonial included a passing dismissal of recent attention to same-sex commitments. One could not help but reflect further on the predominance of unusually tactful males in so many church organizations. Hypocrisy can often be a subtle character in our lives but we have to let each person progress at his own speed rather than set up prohibitions that are said to be God’s concerns.


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Kirby Congdon
Kirby Congdon found his calling in the time of the Beat Movement, his poems being published by the New York Times, The New York Herald Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor as well as countless small-press outlets. While influenced by the assertive stance of a new generation in literature, he preferred to set aside the spontaneous approach of his friends and use his work as an exploratory tool in establishing the new identity of his times as well as that of his own maturation. This search was incorporated in 300 works which were compiled in a bibliography by a Dean of the English Department at Long Island University in his retirement and made available in hard-back with an extensive addenda by the literary activists of Presa Press through their skills achieved from the University of Michigan and their own experience which commands a movement in itself of contemporary literary action.

Congdon’s work in poetry covers innumerable treatments of countless subjects in single poems, long treatments on a subject, and many collections of both serious thought and imagination through not only the poetry but through essays, plays and ruminations. Named the first poet laureate of Key West, he received a standing ovation for his reading honoring this position and was the featured poet in a festival celebrating Frank O’Hara in the New York region. He was also asked to read his work as well as give a talk on the country’s national poet laureate, Richard Wilbur, at a seminar honoring that man. Currently, Congdon is working on an autobiography and a collection of complete poems.

One thought on “About the Pope

  1. Kirby,

    Magnificent article…Fantastic picture…Love your style…

    You didn’t get hung up on the Pope. I’ve never met the man. I’m acquainted with the historical significance of the position.

    Without diminishing his importance, I’ve many projects, goals and objectives that I’m moving forward on; focusing and attending to the thoughts of someone I don’t know, is not a priority.

    I did catch an address that he gave during his visit. He did a brilliant job. I enjoyed his speech and learned a lot. I believe he is fit for the office. More than I can say for many of our secular leaders.

    Blessings & Respect

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