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Posts Tagged ‘Peggy Rosenthal’

Singing Silence in A Far Country Near

By Peggy RosenthalApril 10, 2018

“Without the traffic, silence / itself would sound red birdsong…” As I’m reading these lines in the poem “Seeing in Silence” in Murray Bodo’s latest volume, A Far Country Near: Poems New and Selected, I pause and ponder. How can silence “sound”? I could get literal and say that without traffic’s noise we can hear…

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Adventures in Praying with Scripture

By Peggy RosenthalMarch 21, 2018

How did I first hear of lectio divina? It must have been from the monks at the Trappist Abbey near my home, who engage daily in this ancient practice of “holy reading”: the prayerful reading of Scripture, just a short passage at a time. This is my guess, because I at my second meeting with…

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As I Lay (Nearly) Dying

By Peggy RosenthalMarch 6, 2018

At first I didn’t know that I was dying. I’d been rushed to the hospital emergency department because I couldn’t breathe, put on oxygen and wheeled right to Intensive Care. The week or so in ICU is a blur now. But ICU must have been where it was discovered that my kidneys were failing—because I…

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Race Relations: A Personal History

By Peggy RosenthalJanuary 15, 2018

It is Martin Luther King Day, and I muse about how my relation to African-Americans has been shaped over the years. When I was a child, my father would sometimes take me into work with him on Saturdays. He was a physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he ran a research lab (with…

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Invisible Man

By Peggy RosenthalJanuary 9, 2018

What made me pick up Ralph Ellison’s classic 1952 novel, Invisible Man? Had I ever even read it before? I don’t think so, and when I recently noticed a reference to it somewhere, I immediately thought: now is the time. To refresh your memories: the novel is narrated by a nameless protagonist, a young black…

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Poetry Friday: “Meditation on Soteriology”

By Karen An-Hwei LeeDecember 15, 2017

Karen An-Hwei Lee lays out her poem “Meditation on Soteriology” so that it looks at first like prose. But you don’t have to read far before you see the wild conjunction of images as poetry. “Paradises of flora and flame,” for instance, takes us aback, since we’d expect to read “flora and fauna.” Similarly with…

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Poetry Friday: “Scale”

By Chelsea WagenaarDecember 1, 2017

As I read and re-read this poem, I enjoy noticing exactly when I’ve realized that it’s about the speaker’s pregnancy. If I know that “linea nigra” in the second verse is the dark line that appears on a pregnant belly from belly button downwards, then I’ve already caught on. If I don’t know this, I…

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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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The Poetry of Richard Wilbur

By Peggy RosenthalNovember 2, 2017

I don’t remember when I first starting reading Richard Wilbur’s poetry. But his death on October 14th, at age ninety-six, has returned me to my favorites among his immense output of poems. At the top of my list, indeed one of my favorite of all twentieth century poems, is the magical “Love Calls Us to…

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The Best in Bedtime Reading

By Peggy RosenthalOctober 23, 2017

A therapist I once went to for help with insomnia advised me: “Stop reading a novel at bedtime; it stimulates the mind.” When I recounted this to my wise sister who knows me well, she protested: “No! A novel takes you out of yourself; that’s just what you want before trying to go to sleep.”…

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