Armor & Ornament
Christopher Lee Miles University of Alaska Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3613.I524 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Armor & Ornament turns away from the popular trends of contemporary poetry, calling instead upon traditional and Biblical forms. Rather than drawing on recent styles and modern trends, Miles looks to the texts that have inspired artists for millennia. These are Christian poems that have a deep and unapologetic understanding of God’s world, and they explore, with steady faith, all sides of this world.
As a military veteran, Miles also centers his poetry amongst war. Through tone and voice, warfare permeates these poems, providing poetry that relies less on the traditional, Christian tension of doubt and shaken faith than on the inherent tension of a broken world. This resonant new collection melds deep-rooted spirituality with contemporary tensions, offering modern psalms for a tumultuous and uncertain age.
Christina Rossetti was considered the ideal female poet of her time. Her poetry was devotional, moral, and spoke of frustrated affection.
Dolores Rosenblum presents a fresh reading of Rossetti’s works and places them in the context of her life. Rosenblum shows that what was ostensibly devotional, moral, and loveless, was actually what Luce Irigaray calls “mimetism,” a subtle parody and subversion of the male tradition of literature.
Only with the coming of feminist criticism can Rossetti be meaningfully re-evaluated. Rosenblum calls Rossetti’s works the “poetry of endurance,” stating that it is similar, and at times identical, to the female “sentimental” tradition in literature. Rossetti endured the constraints of the Victorian female artistic spirit by becoming a “watcher.” Within this self-accepted role, Rossetti was able to carefully and deliberately choose artistic self-protection. In her religious poetry, Rossetti transcended, by aesthetic renunciation, the alienation and immobilization forced upon her.
Rossetti’s poetry is full of paradox; it sings about silence, exposes the poet’s oblivion. From the repining Victorian poet, there emerged a “stone woman.” Rosenblum discusses this passively enduring female figure’s alienation from knowledge and power, and how the myth of self strengthened the lyric voice within her. Because she was a woman, she was denied the male use of the lyric “I.”
Rossetti’s work is unified, Rosenblum argues, because she was a deliberate poet, and by accepting the “burden of womanhood,” she played out what men only symbolized as female in their art. By her mimicry and revision of the male tradition of literature, Christina Rossetti engaged the patriarchal tradition in ways that make it usable for the female experience, and that provide a critique of male objectification of women in art.
Mohja Kahf University of Arkansas Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3611.A35A6 2016 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
“Mohja Kahf ’s Hagar Poems is brilliantly original in its conception, thrillingly artful in its execution. Its range is immense, its spiritual depth is profound, it negotiates its shifts between archaic and the contemporary with utmost skill. There’s lyricism, there’s satire, there’s comedy, there’s theology of a high order in this book.”
—Alicia Ostriker, author of For the Love of God: The Bible as an Open Book
“Hagar/ Hajar the immigrant/exile/outcast/refugee mother of a people is given multiple voices and significance in Mohja Kahf’s new book of dramatic monologues, which also reinvents Pharaoh’s daughter, Zuleika, Aïsha, and Mary in poems that are at once lively and learned, agnostic and devout. The sequence on an American mosque, and the poet’s ambivalent love for what it represents, is unique in American poetry.”
—Marilyn Hacker, author of A Stranger’s Mirror
“‘Where have all the goddesses gone,’ writes Mohja Kahf, ‘I tracked down Isis / incognito on Cyprus. /She told me Ishtar / lived under the radar / in southern Iraq. . . .’ In Hagar Poems, Mohja Kahf’s hallmark qualities—irreverence, imagination, wit, poignancy—are all exuberantly in evidence. A wonderful read.”
—Leila Ahmed, author of A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America
“This brilliant collection captures all the ‘patient threading of relationship’ between Hagar and Sarah as between women, and then between women and men, between human and God. . . . At every turn of the page [Kahf] refuses complacency and circumstance but opts instead for exposing the tenuousness of threads that tie and bind and then come loose before our eyes.”
—From the foreword by Amina Wadud
The central matter of this daring new collection is the story of Hagar, Abraham, and Sarah—the ancestral feuding family of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
These poems delve into the Hajar story in Islam. They explore other figures from the Near Eastern heritage, such as Mary and Moses, and touch on figures from early Islam, such as Fatima and Aisha. Throughout, there is artful reconfiguring. Readers will find sequels and prequels to the traditional narratives, along with modernized figures claimed for contemporary conflicts.
Hagar Poems is a compelling shakeup of not only Hagar’s story but also of current roles of all kinds of women in all kinds of relationships.
If No Moon
Moira Linehan Southern Illinois University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS3612.I538I35 2007 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
If No Moon by award-winning author Moira Linehan documents the effects of profound loss and the dark withdrawal into grief. Wherever the author turns—the landscape of her backyard in Massachusetts, a Trappist monastery in Kentucky, the museums of Florence, or the cliffs of Inishmor in Ireland—she sees only the geography of emptiness. Crossovers between craft and art, form and voice, knitting and memory, recur throughout the poems. Lying within the tradition of narrative poetry, elegy, and the lyric, the collection reveals the mysterious journey of return. Coming full circle to find again the lyrical and the transcendent within the everyday, beauty eventually wins out. If No Moon, accessible to all who have or will experience loss, is the voice of one who has come to understand that there is no other work but starting over.
This new volume of Rumi’s works, the first-ever English translation of his Arabic poems, will be exciting for the newcomer to Rumi’s verses as well as to readers already familiar with his mystical philosophy. The poems take the reader on a journey of spiritual exploration, ecstatic union, cruel rejection, and mystic reconciliation. Rumi reveals his soul and welcomes everyone to his spiritual feast.
This dual-language volume opens a treasury of Rumi’s mystic thought and startling poetry. His verses pulsate with desire and longing, with sensuality, and with ecstatic celebration. Rumi found in his mystic poetry a vehicle for the expression of the endless spiritual bounties of love. He placed love at the center of his faith and doctrine, and he pronounced it to be the goal of his life and the only form of true worship. This collection is stunningly rendered in English by an award-winning poet and a distinguished translator of Arabic poetry.
Adapted and edited by David R. Slavitt Northwestern University Press, 2015 Library of Congress BL1138.25.S59 2015 | Dewey Decimal 294.5923
Within its 200,000 verse lines in Sanskrit the Mahabharata takes on many roles: epic poem, foundational text of Hinduism, and, more broadly, the engaging story of a dynastic struggle and the passing of an age when man and gods intermingled. David R. Slavitt’s sparkling new edition condenses the epic for the general reader.
At its core, the Mahabharata is the story of the rivalry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, two related noble families who are struggling for control of a kingdom in ancient northern India. Slavitt’s readable, plot-driven, single-volume account describes an arc from the conception and birth of Bhishma to that hero's death, while also introducing the four goals of life at the center of Hinduism: dharma (righteousness, morality, duty), artha (purpose), kāma (pleasure), and moksa (spiritual liberation). The Mahabharata is engaging, thrilling, funny, charming, and finally awesome, with a range in timbre from the impish naivete of fairy tales to the solemnity of our greatest epics, and this single-volume edition is the best introduction available.
Miss Carrie: A Novel
Judson N. Hout Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., 2013 Library of Congress PS3608.O885M57 2014 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
“Set in Arkansas during World War II, Hout’s touching story of an orphaned boy's relationship with the inhabitant of a small town's "haunted house” will keep you guessing, right up to the satisfying ending. Another endearing novel from Judson Hout."
Mystical Poems of Rumi
Jalal al-Din Rumi University of Chicago Press, 2009 Library of Congress PK6480.E5A72 2008 | Dewey Decimal 891.551
My verse resembles the bread of Egypt—night passes over it, and you cannot eat it any more.
Devour it the moment it is fresh, before the dust settles upon it.
Its place is the warm climate of the heart; in this world it dies of cold.
Like a fish it quivered for an instant on dry land, another moment and you see it is cold.
Even if you eat it imagining it is fresh, it is necessary to conjure up many images.
What you drink is really your own imagination; it is no old tale, my good man.
Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207–73), legendary Persian Muslim poet, theologian, and mystic, wrote poems acclaimed through the centuries for their powerful spiritual images and provocative content, which often described Rumi’s love for God in romantic or erotic terms. His vast body of work includes more than three thousand lyrics and odes. This volume includes four hundred poems selected by renowned Rumi scholar A. J. Arberry, who provides here one of the most comprehensive and adept English translations of this enigmatic genius. Mystical Poems is the definitive resource for anyone seeking an introduction to or an enriched understanding of one of the world’s greatest poets.
“Rumi is one of the world’s greatest lyrical poets in any language—as well as probably the most accessible and approachable representative of Islamic civilization for Western students.”—James W. Morris, Oberlin College
Rumi, who wrote and preached in Persia during the thirteenth century, was inspired by a wandering mystic, or dervish, named Shams al-Din. Rumi's vast body of poetry includes a lengthy poem of religious mysticism, the Mathnavi, and more than three thousand lyrics and odes. A.J. Arberry, who selected four hundred of the lyrics for translation, calls Rumi "one of the world's greatest poets. In profundity of thought, inventiveness of image, and triumphant mastery of language, he stands out as the supreme genius of Islamic mysticism."
"An excellent introduction to Rumi, the greatest mystical poet of Islam. . . . Rumi's scope, like that of all great poets, is universal—reaching from sensuous luxuriance to the driest irony."—Sherman Goldman, East-West Journal
Rumi, who wrote and preached in Persia during the thirteenth century, is one of history’s most celebrated mystics. His vast body of poetry includes a lengthy epic of religious mysticism, the Mathnavi, and more than three thousand lyrics and odes. A. J. Arberry, who selected four hundred of the lyrics for translation, calls Rumi "one of the world's greatest poets. In profundity of thought, inventiveness of image, and triumphant mastery of language, he stands out as the supreme genius of Islamic mysticism." Arberry’s authoritative translation is one of the few done directly from the original Persian.
A. J. Arberry (1905-69) was professor of Arabic at Cambridge University.
Old And New Testaments
Lynn Powell University of Wisconsin Press, 1995 Library of Congress PS3566.O83255O43 1995 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
The Brittingham Prize in Poetry
Winner of the 1996 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award
Winner of the 1995 Norma Farber First Book Award
"A radiance and clarity suffuses Lynn Powell's work."
--Carolyn Kizer, Brittingham Prize Citation
"In Lynn Powell's poems we rediscover the meaning of the word 'testament,' for they give us a full testimony of a life, a family, a world. Whether writing of grief, or The Rapture, of a junebug or Aunt Roxy at the age of one hundred, she brings us intense, crafted narratives of selfÂknowledge, of facts so vivid they are painful, becoming signs and also wonders of life. These are poems of the recovery of spiritual desire. This is an extraordinary book, and an extraordinary new talent."--Robert Morgan
"These direct, loving, sober poems are the change we need from most recent verse. The intensity of the opening poems in Old & New Testaments builds throughout the book until, almost intolerable, it transforms into profound acceptance, the quietness that comes of acknowledging both life and death. These images and rhythms need no persuasiveness beyond themselves, brightening our spirits with the clarity of reality."--A. R. Ammons
"Lynn Powell's Old & New Testaments is a reclaiming of spiritual texts and traditions for a woman's life in the body--a life of childhood physicality, female sexuality, procreation, and nurturing love. Playful, tender, and wise, Powell brings her gospel learning down to earth. We can hail her poems in an old phrase with a new meaning: they are full of grace."--Alicia Ostriker
Lynn Powell was raised in East Tennessee and educated at Carson-Newman College and Cornell University. She has worked extensively as a writer in the schools for the Tennessee Arts Commission, the New Jersey State Council for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and currently, the Ohio Arts Council. Her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, and other journals. She lives in Oberlin, Ohio.
Religious piety has rarely been animated as vigorously as in Old English Poems of Christ and His Saints. Ranging from lyrical to dramatic to narrative, the individual poems show great inventiveness in reimagining perennial Christian topics. In different poems, for example, Christ expels Lucifer from heaven, resists the devil's temptation on earth, mounts the cross with zeal to face death, harrows hell at the urging of John the Baptist, appears in disguise to pilot a ship, and presides over the Last Judgment. Satan and the fallen angels lament their plight in a vividly imagined hell and plot against Christ and his saints.
In Andreas the poet relates, in language reminiscent of Beowulf, the tribulations of the apostles Andrew and Matthew in a city of cannibals. In The Vision of the Cross (also known as The Dream of the Rood), the cross speaks as a Germanic warrior intolerably torn between the imperative to protect his Lord and the duty to become his means of execution. In Guthlac A, an Anglo-Saxon warrior abandons his life of violence to do battle as a hermit against demons in the fens of Lincolnshire. As a collection these ten anonymous poems vividly demonstrate the extraordinary hybrid that emerges when traditional Germanic verse adapts itself to Christian themes.
Old English Poems of Christ and His Saints complements the saints' lives found in The Old English Poems of Cynewulf, DOML 23.
Old English Psalms
Patrick P. O’Neill Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress BS1421.O43 2016 | Dewey Decimal 223.20529
The Latin psalms—translated into Old English—figured prominently in the lives of Anglo-Saxons, whether sung by clerics, studied as a textbook for language learning, or recited in private devotion by lay people. The complete text of all 150 prose and verse psalms is available here in contemporary English for the first time.
Katie Condon The Ohio State University Press, 2020 Library of Congress PS3603.O53218P73 2020 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
Through language both reverent and reckless, Katie Condon’s debut collection renders the body a hymn. Praying Naked is Eden in the midst of the fall, the meat of the apple sweet as sex. In this collection, God is a hopeless and dangerous flirt, mothers die and are resurrected, and disappointing lovers run like hell for the margins. With effortless swagger and confessional candor, Condon lays bare the thrill of lust and its subsequent shame. In poems brimming with “the desire / to be desired” by men, by God, by lovers’ other women, by oneself, she renders a world in which wildflowers are coated in ash and dark bedrooms flicker with the blue light of longing. The speaker implores like an undressed wound: “is it wrong to feel a hurt kind of beautiful?” Ecstatic and incisive, Praying Naked is a daring sexual and spiritual reckoning by a breathtaking new poet.
Red Clay Suite
Honoree Fanonne Jeffers Southern Illinois University Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS3560.E365R43 2007 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
In her third book of poems, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers expresses her familiarity with the actual and imaginary spaces that the American South occupies in our cultural lexicon. Her two earlier books of poetry, The Gospel of Barbecue and Outlandish Blues, use the blues poetic to explore notions of history and trauma. Now, in Red Clay Suite, Jeffersapproaches the southern landscape as utopia and dystopia—a crossroads of race, gender, and blood. These poems signal the ending movement of her crossroads blues and complete the last four “bars” of a blues song, resting on the final, and essential, note of resolution and reconciliation.
Mary Jo Firth Gillett Southern Illinois University Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS3607.I444S65 2007
Soluble Fish transports readers to a place of discovery, exploring issues of borders, familial and love relationships, and other aspects of being human. Mary Jo Firth Gillett layers her poems in rich metaphor as she searches for meaning in everyday life. Contemplating a range of topics from teaching poetry to watching her father filet a fish, Gillett’s humorous and playful collection celebrates language and life.
At the heart of human existence lie fundamental questions that are pondered by philosophers, theologians, poets and thoughtful people from all walks of life. What is the meaning of life? Who or what is a divine being? How can a benevolent deity justify human suffering? Such questions are especially relevant to our lives in the current climate of American society. In Vespers: American Poems of Religion and Spirituality, editors Virgil Suárez and Ryan G. Van Cleave offer the reading world a timely anthology of powerful and passionate poems that cut to the heart of our contemporary theological and spiritual underpinnings.
Featuring fifty of today's most respected American poets, including Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Dunn and Carolyn Kizer, Vespers allows us to witness and understand the challenging ideas and philosophies surrounding religion and spirituality. Through these poems, we can come to a better understanding of who, what, and why we are.
From deathbed spirituals to initiation songs, transformative ballads to transcendent sonnets, poets of myriad backgrounds—Native American, African American, Asian American, Latino, Protestant, Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish—echo the thoughts, concerns, and fears that linger in our souls. Their poems help us realize that we are not alone, that we're never truly alone, that even in the face of darkness the world is vibrant, beautiful, joyous.
More than a creative exploration of theological concerns—Vespers is a roadmap of where we've been, where we are, and where we are heading in terms of our spiritual and religious existence. It will keep you company, good company, whatever your religious or spiritual background.
The struggle is real. It has purpose. You are not alone. These sixty-some meditations by Roger A. form a record of his battle with the demons of addiction. We trust it will allow others in recovery to find hope.
Exciting to those unfamiliar with Rumi’s verse as well as to the veteran scholar, this volume, following on Love Is My Savior, offers more of the little-known Arabic poems of Mawlana Rumi. These poems take the reader on a journey of spiritual search, ecstatic union, universal salvation, and mystic reconciliation, in which Rumi reveals his soul and welcomes everyone to his spiritual feast. This dual-language volume, with its informative introduction, is one of the first to bring Rumi’s Arabic poems into English, and it opens a treasury of Rumi’s mystic thought and electrifying poetry. The poems pulsate with desire and longing, with erotic meaning, and with ecstatic celebration. Rumi found in his mystic poetry a vehicle for the expression of the endless spiritual bounties of love. The reader will find, at the center of his faith and doctrine, love and a strong belief in universal salvation and unlimited generosity.