A Metaphorical God: Poems

( 3 )


"Dazzling....She writes with Milton open at her elbow but with the real dirt of a real Utah under her fingertips."—The Yale Review

No poet writing today confronts the perplexities of the divine with more pizzazz than Kimberly Johnson. In A Metaphorical God, Johnson showcases her gifts for mining language for its hidden gems and its gospel ("my tongue is a fovent choir, / a ...
See more details below
Paperback (New Edition)
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$14.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (11) from $7.54   
  • New (5) from $7.85   
  • Used (6) from $7.54   
Sending request ...


"Dazzling....She writes with Milton open at her elbow but with the real dirt of a real Utah under her fingertips."—The Yale Review

No poet writing today confronts the perplexities of the divine with more pizzazz than Kimberly Johnson. In A Metaphorical God, Johnson showcases her gifts for mining language for its hidden gems and its gospel ("my tongue is a fovent choir, / a cloven fire"), using what she unearths to delve deep into mysteries both epistemological and holy.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892553426
  • Publisher: Persea Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Kimberly Johnson is Assistant Professor of English at Brigham Young University. She lives in Salt Lake City.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Epilogue 3

Ash Garden 9

Opening the Word 10

A Psalm 11

On Divination 13

Love Song 14

A Psalm of Ascents 16

On Divination by Filaments 21

Ode on Lanugo 22

Ode on My Belly Button 23

Ode on My Episiotomy 24

Ode on My Appendix 25

Ode on My Cancer 26

The Melancholy of Anatomy 27

On Divination by Birds 28

Bust 29

Three Bouquets 30

Vanity of Vanities 33

Georgics of the Mind 34

On Divination by Knuckle-bones 35

The Story of My Calamities 36

Exercises in Translation 37

Love-letter 38

A Lodge in a Garden of Cucumbers 39

Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages 41

On Divination by Fire 42

Sweet Incendiary 43

Babel 45

A Closer Walk with Thee 46

Aubade 49

On Divination by Wind 50

Jubilee 51

The Doctrine of Signatures 52

Marking the Lambs 54

Ortolan 55

Goodfriday 56

[ ] 58

Easter, Looking Westward 60

Voluptuary 65

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 13, 2010

    Entertains, captivates and touches the soul.

    Kimberly Johnson proves to be a master of language in her book of poems A Metaphorical God. Not only does she expertly structure her sentences to give the largest impact possible, but makes capturing pictures and emotions seem almost effortless in her short narrative like poems. Action packed in the way she delivers a story, Johnson's work is some of the most highly entertaining and heartfelt poetry I have ever read.
    Through her book of poetry Johnson takes the reader along on her quest to understand the divine and come to terms with a God that holds so many different meanings for her. The honesty in her quest and the earnestness in her questioning of divinity in each poem are incredibly moving serving to make her poetry the perfect introduction to the genre. The subject matter of Johnson's poems is very relatable to the everyday person and falls far from the flowery, romanticized poetry that most people think about when they hear the genre mentioned. She writes about being human and the little experiences that make us unique, singing praises to everything from her episiotomy to the castration of sheep. Entirely down to earth, Johnson connects with her readers on a base level while still creating a beautiful piece of literary artwork.
    Whether you have studied poetry for years or you are just trying it out, Johnson provides the right range of talent with easily relatable topics making her work so uniquely and widely appropriate. With all the skill of the poets like Milton and Dickson with the nitty-gritty appeal of a naturalist she entertains, captivates and touches the soul.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2010

    OED Please

    Kimberly Johnson's A Metaphorical God is a collection of poetry that any poet, enthusiast, or writer would love. Never have I been so challenged when I read poetry. I mean challenged because her poems aren't vague and nebulous; they're seemingly coded because of the language she uses. In the everyday life we lead we are riddled with generalities. Even when someone tries to explain something in great detail they are generalities compared to Kimberly Johnson's style of writing. She uses words that will be the keys to deciphering her poetry. I highly recommend the Oxford English Dictionary to those who read this book. I sat with my Oxford English Dictionary and my copy of A Metaphorical God and delicately devoured her poetry. It was more than simply an Easter Egg Hunt. It was an exploration of meaning. It was a journey through the wide world we live in. I sluiced with the noctilucent cirrus across the dawning sky (49). I learned that a horticulturist is more similar to one who panders to sexual debauchery than to a hare (51). I found out that I prefer the type of divination done by a haruspex than to that of wind (13,50). Isn't that what poetry is meant to do?

    Poetry is a great experience. Your response to the poem should be the most important to you. If you're looking for an enjoyable and challenging experience, please read this book. You'll thank me later. My experience was that of inspiration to do more. I was inspired to read more, so that I could learn more words because they can be beautiful, interesting, and specific.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    Well Worth Studying

    Johnson's poems have enough energy, urgency, and passion to make Donne sweat. While her poems are often demanding, taking time to study her poems (look up words or allusions, etc.) will always turn out to be a rewarding experience. Johnson is a master of lean, beautiful language.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)