Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith reflects on her visit to Marquand Chapel


Earlier this month, Marquand Chapel had the privilege of hosting poet laureate Tracy K. Smith. She shared a poem from her new book Wade in the Water during our Thursday Sung Worship service.

In the latest episode of her podcast, The Slow Down, Tracy K. Smith reflects on her experience worshipping at Yale Divinity School’s Marquand Chapel. She says,

I attended a chapel service recently and was moved by the closing gesture, a simple hymn sung first by the soloist and then by the whole congregation: “Go now in peace, go now in peace. may the love of God surround you everywhere, everywhere you may go.” It was a Thursday, the day after a shooting in Thousand Oaks in California, less than two weeks after the shooting in the Tree of Life Synogogue in Pittsburg. And so the benediction—”Go no in peace everywhere you may go”—felt like an urgent consolation. Singing those words with a room full of strangers, hearing them sent along by every other voice in the sunlit room, created something powerful: a mood, that seems to  fleeting; an energy or intention maybe; a possiblity. Words, after all, do a great deal to foster our sense of the possible. Words tell us what the world looks like or what it might grow to look like. I left the chapel thinking, What if those words became a part of our daily life? What is we thought to take leave of friends and even strangers with such a wish? ….. 

Go listen to the whole episode, “3. Proximities” on the podcast The Slowdown at https://www.apmpodcasts.org/slowdown/2018/11/3-proximities/

image: Tracy K. Smith with students following worship