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The Preacher Ruminates: Behind The Sermon (Analysis and Interpretation)

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Length: 1482 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)
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"Without a Hand to Hold"
Analysis and Interpretation of "The Preacher Ruminates: Behind the Sermon"
Gwendolyn Brooks' "The Preacher Ruminates: Behind the Sermon" gives an eerie look into a minister's mind. Indeed the poem's premise is made clear from the opening line: "It must be lonely to be God" (1). The poem proceeds to note that while God is a much-revered and respected figure, he has no equal. The preacher's revelation provides the reader a unique perspective into religion. Brooks points out due to God's position of omniscience, it is not possible for a figure like Him to have friends. Throughout Brooks' poem, the preacher implores the reader for answers to his questions, finally concluding that to be God is indeed a lonely life and that God must tire of it from time to time.
"The Preacher Ruminates: Behind the Sermon" is a lyrical poem. Indeed, the title itself lends evidence to the poem's genre. It brings forth the feelings and voice of a clear speaker: the preacher. The poem does not tell a story nor does it relate a series of events, further reinforcing the classification...


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...t certainly leads me to believe that Brooks' preacher is correct in saying that He has no equal. Thus, the poem delivers a haunting view into a different side of a figure that Christians worship each Sunday. As is evidenced by the preacher's thoughts, Brooks' poem illustrates that God is indeed "without a hand to hold" (16).

Works Cited
Brooks, Gwendolyn. "The Preacher Ruminates: Behind the Sermon". Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia, eds. Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. New York: Pearson Longman, 2006. 500-1.

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