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Posts Tagged ‘Peggy Rosenthal’

Poetry Friday: “Psalm as Frustration I Can Live With”

By Nicholas SamarasAugust 11, 2017

Like the biblical psalms, Nicholas Samaras’s “Psalm as Frustration I Can Live With” speaks for the human condition. And, like many of the biblical psalms, Samaras’s psalm finds the human condition one of being thrust between opposite experiences. “I feel [God’s]presence only to lose it, / lose his presence only to feel it return.” And…

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Poetry Friday: “Graveyard Prayer”

By Robert CordingJuly 28, 2017

In this poem, Robert Cording places himself in an unusual spot: “at the graveyard where I’ll be / buried” and even specifically sitting “on my gravesite.” The poem is a testing out of various tones toward this meeting place of the living moment and its inevitable future end. Teasingly, he calls himself “a Constable imposter”…

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Still Pilgrim

By Peggy RosenthalJuly 27, 2017

Still Pilgrim. Just the title of Angela Alaimo O’Donnell’s new poetry collection makes you pause. Pun and paradox reverberate through the title terms. A pilgrim is someone on a journey…a spiritual journey. “Still” can mean unmoving, motionless (definitely not journeying). But, further, “still” can mean ongoing, as in “I’m still doing that.” These contradictory concepts…

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Poetry Friday: “On Value”

By Kelly CherryJuly 21, 2017

I’m amazed by the flexibility of the sonnet form. When you first read Kelly Cherry’s delightful poem “On Value,” you wouldn’t notice that it’s a sonnet (except that I’ve just told you!). The enjambment of nearly every line swooshes you past the end-rhymes without your noticing them. You read Cherry’s meditation on the philosophical concept…

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Poetry Friday: “The Human Share”

By Bruce BondJuly 14, 2017

Here’s a brilliantly crafted poem which I love, even though it makes me a bit sea-sick. Bruce Bond’s poem “The Human Share” begins on familiar ground, with a well-known phrase from John’s gospel. But then in line 2, Christ’s salvific work is prefaced by “as if”—and the ground we’re on becomes shaky. “As if” implies…

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Nonviolence and the Virtue of Hope

By Peggy RosenthalJuly 3, 2017

It was nonviolence that initially brought me to my spiritual director, Fr. Bill Shannon. I was a new Christian, baptized into the Catholic Church at Easter in 1983. The very next month, the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference issued a pastoral letter called The Challenge of Peace. The context of the letter was the Cold War’s…

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Poetry Friday: “The Fawn”

By David MasonJune 30, 2017

Narrative poetry has its special challenge: how does it differentiate itself from prose? David Mason’s story of his family’s relation to a dying fawn does this in several ways. First there’s the iambic pentameter beat carrying us along. Then wordplay, beginning with the opening line: “The vigil and the vigilance of love.” There’s the internal…

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Poetry Friday: “Japanese Wall Hanging”

By Moira LinehanJune 23, 2017

I find myself reading this poem both literally and as a metaphor for our lives. On the literal level, Moira Linehan focuses with intensely loving detail on the Japanese brush painter. The first four lines list with tender concern all the things that might go wrong in the painting process. The next five lines move…

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Reading Love Nailed to the Doorpost

By Peggy RosenthalJune 19, 2017

If you want to be submerged in the depths of Jewish spirituality, this is the book to read: Love Nailed to the Doorpost, by Richard Chess. No, not “read”: at least not “read” in the way you would read an email or a newspaper or a novel. The poems and prose-poems collected in this book…

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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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