Poetry and Literature: Dr. Donald Williams

by Shadia Sikkema (Colorado)

Dr. Don Williams came into Summit like Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, but we weren’t ready for him.

I don’t think our Summit Semester students expected the Chaucer quoted at lunch and the Shakespeare quoted at dinner. Eventually, we got used to the poetry that seemed to pour out of him incessantly, and I for one grew to love it. Not only did he enliven our mealtimes with his soliloquies, but he also enriched the classroom as well. If the stories of quoting Chaucer and Shakespeare didn’t give it away, Dr. Williams spoke on Christianity and Literature. We explored so much in this field that I cannot begin to communicate it here so instead (in honor of Dr. Williams) I wrote a sonnet to capture some of the issues we tackled.

It has been a common theme throughout Semester that people miss the beauty of the whole and focus on beauty at the moment.

Often this can lead to an appreciation of fleeting surface-level pleasures while losing sight of the beauty of the whole picture. Dr. Williams equated this to the culture war, claiming that Christians have lost this war and we must now fight even harder to regain our ground in this area. This sonnet attempts to encapsulate some of these themes and others that Dr. Williams spoke on.


Oh Lord how can we seek to honor you

When everywhere our hope is found in shards?

And beauty cannot hold to something true,

For now, it is corrupted, twisted, marred.

No longer do we hold to what is good,

But rather to some weak pursuit of pleas’re

Why do we seek to please each passing mood,

When in you there is life in fullest measu’re?

And to my heart, these thoughts took a great toll

But in my soul, you gently do remind

That I see just a part and not the whole.

That hope is found in Thee, not in my mind.

Although I rarely glimpse Your total plan,

I will rejoice and take Thee by Thy hand