Two Poems: “Which Color am I?” & “God is Dead”

by Peter (Minwoo) Her

Which Color am I?

Get through the shallow

Path to B.U. with my skin yellow

Lived in white state Oklahoma when I was in high school

Right next to rednecks

Playlist packed with black music full of red messages

Waiting to be spread

Never painted a skyline with sole sky blue in my life.

Cause orange color twilight that’s what I Like

Where I live is a City light

Spread reflections on the surface of the Charles at night.

Trees of green what I’ve got.

Papers of green what I’m not.

Wears pink sweater in a

Picnic on a spring weather.

Brown eyes cry tears colorless

When I witness colorful hatred

Now you tell me which color am I?

Commentary: The poem “Which Color am I?” is inspired by Courtney Goto’s Beyond the Black–White Binary of U.S. Race Relations: A Next Step in Religious Education. I initially experienced confusion of understanding identity within a black and white binary. At first I was able to find similarities and differences in both societies, but my skin color did not fit comfortably within this binary. So, I asked myself “What color am I?” Soon, I realized that I do not have to put myself in either black or white, because I am just me without any frameworks. I wrote this poem to express what I have realized and to question society and those who put others under the frame of colors while ignoring the diversity within individuals. I believe that individuals carry diverse characteristics that cannot be properly categorized under a single simplified structure. Furthermore, I wish to question the legitimacy of categorizing an individual within a specific framework of identity.

 

God is Dead

God is dead, God is dead

We buried him under our church

God is dead, God is dead

Our pride is what ensures

We pray on his grave for wealth and fame amen.

Hating each other who indwell Imago Dei

Twisting your words for favors

Wishing to be better than our neighbors

Claiming ownership of nature

Abusing sincerely crafted creatures

Our life is debt but

We are the evidence of your death

God is dead, God is dead

Commentary: Nietzsche’s claim “God is dead” influenced this poem. By declaring the death of God, Nietzsche tried to set Europeans free from the negative influence of Christianity that still disturbs current life by emphasizing the afterlife. However, I wrote this poem to argue that Christianity set its direction beyond the church or afterlife. Instead it needs to turn its direction towards society to make a positive influence. The line “God is dead” does not literally indicate God’s death, instead, it means that Christianity makes it seems like God does not exist in this world. For me, it seems detrimental to Christianity. Through this semester, what I felt was that the United States is built upon the Christianity and puritanism that worked as a justification of white’s oppression to take advantage of other races. I hope this poetry can arouse us to think about what God truly wants and decide to be proof of God’s existence rather than proof of God’s death.


Peter (Minwoo) Her is a first year M.Div. student from South Korea. His areas of study at STH includes psychology, philosophy and Kendrick Lamar. He hopes to be the first Korean signed to Top Dawg Entertainment.

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