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Posts Tagged ‘Peggy Rosenthal’

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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Poetry Friday: “June Prayer”

By Robert CordingJune 2, 2017

How to pray for someone bent over by grief when nature is stretching upward in the June sunshine? This is the question posed by Robert Cording’s “June Prayer.” We learn in the course of the poem that the young son of a woman “I love” has died months ago, and that she asks the poet…

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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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Quartet for J. Robert Oppenheimer

By Peggy RosenthalMay 10, 2017

What would you think of a biography of a famous person written in the form of a poem? I don’t mean just a portrait of the person: Stephanie Strickland did this (masterfully) in her The Red Virgin: A Poem of Simone Weil. No, I mean a full, chronological biography—birth to death and reputation beyond—complete with…

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Poetry Friday: “The Aging Maria”

By Judith Ortiz CoferMay 5, 2017

The prose poem is a challenging genre. After all, what distinguishes “plain prose” from “prose poetry”? Here, in Judith Ortiz Cofer’s “The Aging Maria,” I’d say it’s, first, the liberty with sentence structure. Take the opening sentence: in a prose work we’d say it’s too long, stretches in too many directions. But here, each phrase…

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Poetry Friday: “Sewing Box”

By Murray BodoApril 21, 2017

We don’t think enough—or at least I don’t—about how objects can contain memory. But Murray Bodo’s poem “Sewing Box” shows us how: in this box in which memory is literally contained. Each of the four stanzas takes us deeper into the box. At first it’s just “the busy / sewing box I’d organize on visits…

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Praying the Art of Sean Scully: The Match of Prose and Visual Art

By Peggy RosenthalApril 17, 2017

When I finished reading Paul Anel’s article on the chapel art of Sean Scully, in the current issue of Image (#91), I was moved to close my eyes in prayer. It wasn’t verbal prayer. It was a sitting within a sense of the sacred. Both Scully’s art and Anel’s graced account of it had drawn me…

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