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Which I is I?

By Luke Hankins Book Review

Three Poetry Collections Idiot Psalms by Scott Cairns (Paraclete Press, 2014) Seam by Tarfia Faizullah (Southern Illinois University Press, 2013) F by Franz Wright (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013)   IN THE LONG HISTORY of the poetry of religious devotion, one often encounters a guileless representation of the self in its attempts to relate to the divine. The…

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Nothing

By Scott Cairns Poetry

…no evil thing is evil insofar as it exists, but insofar as it is turned… —Saint Gregory Palamás What had I meant to say? Just now. I have forgotten. Which among the extant flourishing phenomena are you? Is that a limp? The evening drifts into its routine dimming of particulars, quite literally evening the scene…

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Web Exclusive: A Conversation with Scott Cairns

By Mary Kenagy Mitchell Interview

The current issue of Image features three new poems by Scott Cairns. The author of numerous volumes of poetry, a convert to Orthodox Christianity, and a longtime contributor to Image, Scott has often advocated what he calls a “sacramental poetics”—the idea that a poem should not so much describe something as dosomething.   Image: Your poems use an exacting, prophetic voice, but…

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Another Idiot Psalm

By Scott Cairns Poetry

A psalm of Isaak raised in unaccustomed stillness With unclean lips, at least, and yea with unclean hands, encumbered heart, congested, lo these many years, with no small measure of regret and sin’s particulate debris, by these and countless other dear impediments, I stoop to find my knees. And on occasion You— whose dimly figured…

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Another Idiot Psalm: We Say Flight

By Scott Cairns Poetry

We say flight of the imagination, but stand ankle-deep in silt. We say deep life of the mind, but seal the stone to keep the tomb untouched, O Stillness. Nearly all we find to say we speak for the most part unawares, what little bit we think to say unmoved, O Great Enormity Unmoved. Brief…

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Lenten Complaint

By Scott Cairns Poetry

The breakfast was adequate, the fast itself sub-par. We gluttons, having modified our habits only somewhat within the looming Lenten dark, failed quite to shake our thick despair, an air that clamped the heart, made moot the prayer. Wipe your chin. I’m dying here in Omaha, amid the flat, surrounded by the beefy, land-locked generations,…

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Hesychasterion

By Scott Cairns Poetry

I am hollowing a dwelling        in the granite of my heart. I am thinking then to torch       its walls, and sweep out all debris with a green, a heavy branch       of rosemary. I mean to chip a niche inside       therein to rest a…

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What Now?

By Scott Cairns Essay

The Road Behind Us Image’s Founding Generation When Image was founded in 1989, the cultural landscape looked different than it does today. Religious writers and artists felt cold-shouldered in the public square and often ill at ease within the church. The need for a journal that demonstrated the continuing vitality of contemporary art informed by…

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