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Questions for Ecclesiastes by Mark Jarman
Franz Wright - 2006
Wright, whom we know as a poet of exquisite miniatures, opens God’s Silence with “East Boston, 1996,” a powerful long poem that looks back at the darker moments in the formation of his sensibility. He shares his private rules for bus riding (“No eye contact: the eyes of the terrified / terrify”), and recalls, among other experiences, his first encounter with a shotgun, as an eight-year-old boy (“In a clearing in the cornstalks . . . it was suggested / that I fire / on that muttering family of crows”). Throughout this volume, Wright continues his penetrating study of his own and our collective soul. He reaches a new level of acceptance as he intones the paradox “I have heard God’s silence like the sun,” and marvels at our presumptions:We speak of Heaven who have not yet accomplishedeven this, the holiness of things precisely as they are, and never will!Though Wright often seeks forgiveness in these poems, his black wit and self-deprecation are reliably present, and he delights in reminding us that “literature will lose, sunlight will win, don’t worry.”But in this book, literature wins as well. God’s Silence is a deeply felt celebration of what poetry (and its silences) can do for us.
Melissa Range - 2016
SmithThe poems in Scriptorium are primarily concerned with questions of religious authority. The medieval scriptorium, the central image of the collection, stands for that authority but also for its subversion; it is both a place where religious ideas are codified in writing and a place where an individual scribe might, with a sly movement of the pen, express unorthodox religious thoughts and experiences. In addition to exploring the ways language is used, or abused, to claim religious authority, Scriptorium also addresses the authority of the vernacular in various time periods and places, particularly in the Appalachian slang of the author's East Tennessee upbringing. Throughout Scriptorium, the historical mingles with the personal: poems about medieval art, theology, and verse share space with poems that chronicle personal struggles with faith and doubt.
Compass of Affection: Poems New and Selected
Scott Cairns - 2006
Spanning thirty years and including selections from four of his previous collections, Compass of Affection illuminates the poet’s longstanding engagement with language as revelation, and with poetry as way of discovery. For those who already admire the poetry of Scott Cairns and for those who have yet to be introduced, this essential volume presents the best of his work – the holy made tangible, love made flesh, and theology performed rather than discussed. Praise for Scott Cairns’ work “Scott Cairns [is] perhaps the most important and promising religious poet of his generation.”—Prairie Schooner “The voice of Cairns is conversational and coaxing—confiding in us secrets that seem to be our own.”—Publishers Weekly
Streets in Their Own Ink: Poems
Stuart Dybek - 2004
. . has a gritty realism infused with a sense of the marvelous." --Edward Hirsch, The Washington Post In a city like that one might sailthrough life led by a runaway hat.The young scattered in whatever directionstheir wild hair pointed and, gustinginto one another, they fell in love.-from "Windy City"In his second book of poems, Stuart Dybek finds vitality in the same vibrant imagery that animates his celebrated works of fiction. The poems of Streets in Their Own Ink map the internal geographies of characters who inhabit severe and often savage city streets, finding there a tension that transfigures past and present, memory and fantasy, sin and sanctity, nostalgia and the need to forget. Full of music and ecstasy, they consecrate a shadowed, alternate city of dreams and retrospection that parallels a modern city of hard realities. Ever present is Dybek's signature talent for translating "extreme and fantastic events into a fabulous dailiness, as though the extraordinary were everywhere around us if only someone would tell us where to look" (Geoffrey Wolff).
Rumi's Little Book of Love: 150 Poems That Speak to the Heart
Rumi - 2009
His language, that of love in its purest form, speaks to us today as it did seven hundred years ago, surpassing time and bridging cultures.These poems, most of them translated into English for the first time from the original Persian, were carefully selected from two thousand of Rumi's quatrains. Arranged thematically, they take us on a journey of the soul. Persian calligraphy enhances the beauty of the poems.Discover the depths of a mystic's soul. Fly with him on his beloved's wings. Fall with him into the despair and fear of losing his beloved forever. Discover the beauty and love contained in this wonderful little book of poetry.
Tiana Clark - 2016
The poems negotiate the colossal movement of hearts figuring and being figured by history. This is a voice that knows the intelligence of passion, that moves through and inside the questioning of who we are in the structures of things we give the power to name us until a song sends us out to question the territory. The poet moves with the exactness of math or physics, with the fearful knowledge of careful imbalances that would have us believe in equilibrium, and with the assuredness of art that knows all is change, that the semblance of order is creation, something we are given the gift of imitating in some small way. The poems in this collection summon the largeness, the volume of a voice that disembodies itself in order to search for the love that made it whole.
Survival Is a Style: Poems
Christian Wiman - 2020
His many readers will recognize the musical and formal variety, the voice that can be tender and funny, credibly mystical and savagely skeptical. But there are many new notes in this collection as well, including a moving elegy to the poet's father, sharp observations and distillations of modern American life, and rangy poems that merge and juxtapose different modes of speech and thought. The cumulative effect is extraordinary. Reading Survival Is a Style, one has the sense one is encountering work that will become a permanent part of American literature.
My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy: Poems
Robert Bly - 2005
The ghazal form is well-known in Islamic culture, but only now finding its way into the literary culture of the West. Each stanza of three lines amounts to a finished poem. “God crouches at night over a single pistachio. / The vastness of the Wind River Range in Wyoming / Has no more grandeur than the waist of a child.”The ghazal’s compacted energy is astounding. In a period when much American poetry is retreating into prosaic recordings of daily events, these poems do the opposite. My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy is Robert Bly’s second book of ghazals. The poems have become more intricate and personal than they were in The Night Abraham Called to the Stars, and the leaps even more bold. This book includes the already famous poem against the Iraq War, “Call and Answer”: “Tell me why it is we don¹t lift our voices these days / And cry over what is happening.” The poems are intimate and yet reach out toward the world: the paintings of Robert Motherwell, the intensity of Flamenco singers, the sadness of the gnostics, the delight of high spirits and wit.Robert Bly is writing the best poems of his life, and this book reestablishes his position as one of the greatest poets of our era. After many years of free verse in American poetry, years which have been very fertile, the inventive ghazal helps the imagination to luxuriate in a form once more. We are seeing a poetry emerge that is recovering many of the great intensities that modern art and poetry has aimed at and achieved in earlier generations.
Little Girls in Church
Kathleen Norris - 1995
Although Kathleen Norris’s best-selling Dakota: A Spiritual Geography has brought her to the attention of many thousands of readers, she is first and last a poet. Like Robert Frost, another poet identified with a particular landscape, she can reveal the miraculous in the ordinary, and she writes with clarity, humor, and deep sympathy for her subjects.
Finding Grace at the Center: The Beginning of Centering Prayer
M. Basil Pennington - 1978
When this practical guide was first published in 1978, people all over the world welcomed its simple and beautiful form of meditative prayer. Reflections and advice on Centering Prayer's possibilities?and its pitfalls?are presented with clarity and simplicity, exposing a vision of the deeper life of the soul that contemplative prayer can bring about. This informative, useful tool explains: ? The prayer of The Cloud of the Unknowing ? Posture and relaxation ? The three simple rules of Centering Prayer ? How to cultivate Centering Prayer throughout all aspects of your life
Gabrielle Calvocoressi - 2009
Battered but never beaten, this narrator finds salvation in ecstatic communion with the gods of jazz and especially boxing: “O Tommy Hearns, O blood come down,” she prays. “Find your way to Hungerford where my/father glowers over me. Show him/how the bag does penance.” In such prayers she finds the strength to survive the home she has to leave and, once she does, the strength to face the fires she finds flaring the country over, from Los Angeles to Laramie. Apocalyptic Swing is a work of unbelievable force, a devastating and glorious testimony about America—its lore, disappointments, and promise.
The Complete Poems
John Milton - 1998
His later poetry, produced after Charles II's Restoration led to the defeat of his hopes, reflects his understanding of politics and power. In this edition of Milton's poetry, John Leonard has modernized spelling, capitalization and any punctuation likely to cause confusion. He calls particular attention to words invented by Milton and provides full notes to elucidate biblical, classical and historical allusions, many of which complicate or even conflict with the plain sense or moral implications of the text.