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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Poetry Friday: “Speculation: Along the Way”

By Scott CairnsNovember 3, 2017

Did you ever try finding words for the experience of prayer? Or for the sense of mysterious contact with the divine? That’s what Scott Cairns is attempting in “Speculation: Along the Way.” He tries out a metaphor of a distant thunderstorm — which might however be within. “Might” is in fact a key word in…

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Poetry Friday: “Notre Dame”

By Fleda BrownOctober 27, 2017

I love it when poems speak to each other and expand on a shared theme. The epigraph here references the well-known poem “Church Going” by Phillip Larkin. Both poems describe churches, their architecture and unique interiors. However, they also explore more universal questions about the role and relevance of organized religion. Brown doesn’t mince words.…

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Poetry Friday: “Russian Bell”

By Anya SilverSeptember 8, 2017

In this stirring poem by Anya Silver, the bell becomes a blueprint. First, the bell shape is transposed on her own body dangling freely in the “arc and blur” of a rope swing. Then, it becomes her open mouth and uvula. And, finally, we see the heart as a shattered peony (“unpeeling, pealing”) dropping petals…

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Poetry Friday: “The Psalm of Your Face”

By Nicholas SamarasSeptember 1, 2017

“Lord, let…”: this is how nearly every sentence of Nicholas Samaras’s “The Psalm of Your Face” begins. It’s our own constant plea to God: Lord, let my neighbor be healed of cancer; Lord, let my son be safe in battle. In Samaras’s poem, the pleas “Lord, let…” are first focused on God’s imagined face. But…

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Poetry Friday: “My Life as an Open-Air Temple”

By Sharon DolinAugust 4, 2017

In Dolin’s poem we wake up abruptly inside the walls of an ancient temple. Walls are all we have to orient ourselves here in this place, which is without roof or pillars. “I don’t know how” this transformation took place, the unnamed speaker confesses almost shyly, but suddenly she seems to have so much space…

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Practicing Presence, Part 2

By Gregory WolfeJune 27, 2017

The following two-part post was originally delivered as the 2017 commencement address for Trinity Academy in Portland, Oregon. Read yesterday’s installment here. As you graduates well know, one of the most popular genres in books these days is the dystopia. Dystopia can be a powerful and revelatory form of writing, one that prophetically criticizes harmful…

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Poetry Friday: “Prayer”

By Sharon CumberlandJune 16, 2017

I used to collect poems that are prayers, so Sharon Cumberland’s “Prayer” immediately leapt out at me from the pages if Image. Leapt out—but then instantly grabbed me uncomfortably in the opening line: “Ignore, O Mystery, this thing You made.” The speaker’s plea to God is not for connection but for separation. Why? Because, as…

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A Prayer for Kendrick Lamar

By Nick OlsonJune 15, 2017

It occurs to me each time I listen to Kendrick Lamar’s new album, Damn: The award winning and much celebrated rapper laments over and over that he feels like nobody’s praying for him. It’s his greatest fear. I’m not sure you can listen casually to a Lamar album. Each song demands attention to every word.…

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Alleluia for the Easter Season

By Peggy RosenthalMay 24, 2017

I used to find Easter a letdown. Lent is so full of the self-improvement activities of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. I typically add a midday prayer to my usual Morning and Evening Prayer. I decide what organizations I want to give alms to: a different one each week of Lent. And fasting: not from food…

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Poetry Friday: “The Spirit of Promise”

By Daniel DonaghyMay 19, 2017

Memories can make good material for poetry. In “The Spirit of Promise,” Daniel Donaghy is remembering his Catholic childhood in the particular church that he’s now re-visiting. At first the poet’s memories are negative: “my grade-school nuns shaking // their heads at me”; the priest “putting down his Chesterfield / to tell me how many…

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