After Jeanne Murray Walker earned a Ph.D. in English, she returned to writing poetry and published five volumes, including Nailing Up the Home Sweet Home, Coming into History, and Gaining Time. Jeanne’s poetry appears in periodicals such as Image, Poetry, American Poetry Review, The Nation, The Georgia Review, and The Christian Century. She has received…Read More
Jeanne Murray Walker is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently A Deed to the Light (University of Illinois Press) and New Tracks, Night Falling (Eerdmans). Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Atlantic Monthly, Christian Century, American Poetry Review, Georgia Review, Image, and Best American Poetry. She is also an accomplished playwright, whose scripts have been performed in theaters…Read More
In the Beginning Was the Word by Jeanne Murray Walker It was your hunch, this world. On the heyday of creation, you called, Okay, go! and a ball of white hot gasses spun its lonely way for a million years, all spill and dangerous fall until it settled into orbit. And a tough neighborhood, it was, too.…Read More
I can’t begin to count the number of poems which offer their language to re-imagining the Genesis creation story—maybe because poetry itself is an act of creation. Jeanne Murray Walker’s creation narrative “In the Beginning Was the Word” (Image issue 85) plays exuberantly with language, as if in imitation of God’s exuberance in creating our…Read More
We’re all familiar with how traditional Western art forms were blown to bits in the early to mid-twentieth century. And we know the locus classicus for this in literature: T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, written in the wake of the First World War’s perceived destruction of civilization. Recall The Waste Land‘s characteristic phrases:…Read More
I love the drama of this poem. Its title recalls St. Francis’s “Canticle of Brother Sun,” where Francis praises God through “Sister Moon,” “Brother Fire,” “Sister Water,” and so on. Jeanne Murray Walker’s Sister Storm, however, is violent and destructive—definitely not, in the poet’s view, an element through which to praise God. The poet talks…Read More
What does it mean to be labeled a “religious poet” in the twenty-first century? The term’s undoubtedly fraught, but “fraught” is perhaps the best word to describe the current relationship between religion and pretty much everything. Small wonder, though, if one accepts the argument of scholars such as Wilfred Cantwell Smith, Talal Asad, and Brent…Read More
How to image good and evil? It’s hard to do in a way that astounds us afresh with how they penetrate every aspect of our lives. Yet Jeanne Murray Walker manages to do this in “God Reads the Poem of the World with Interest.” Evil is terrifyingly concrete: men setting a boy’s mother on fire…Read More
It is often hard to find the language to describe the sounds and impact of a piece of music. In “The Music before the Music” we encounter horns that “plow and plant Beethoven’s/great fields,” “the brash cymbal,” “the wigged-out chug of a bass viol.” In this loud and layered poem, Jeanne Murray Walker uses precisely…Read More
Image issue #98’s cover features the work of Israeli painter Shai Azoulay, a playful mystic; this painting is from a series in which he imagines himself making art out of the scraps left behind on Matisse’s studio floor.
Lauren Winner constructs an abecedary of art and truth. Jeanne Murray Walker on how rediscovering the sonnet allowed reinvigorated her after a sudden poetic dry spell. James K.A. Smith argues that the human attraction to ritual is so deep that it even persists in apparently secular fiction. And Ron Hansen gets to grips with why we’re so drawn to stories.
Also inside are Alicia Ostriker’s poems on the Shining Book, heaven as cocktail party, and the kind of immigrants we all are (read our web exclusive interview here). Plus more poems by Rodger Kamenetz, Amit Majmudar, Jerzy Ficowski (in translation), and more.Read More