Burning Bright: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry

Burning Bright: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry

by Patricia Hampl
     
 
O night, you are dark because
you do not know Him.
O day, go and learn from Him
what it means to shine.
Rumi
This extraordinary daybook of sacred poetry is for everyone, not only readers secure in their faith and those in search of it. It is a radiant, inspiring companion that invites us all to step, like Emily Dickinson, "upon the North to see this

Overview

O night, you are dark because
you do not know Him.
O day, go and learn from Him
what it means to shine.
Rumi
This extraordinary daybook of sacred poetry is for everyone, not only readers secure in their faith and those in search of it. It is a radiant, inspiring companion that invites us all to step, like Emily Dickinson, "upon the North to see this Curious Friend."
From the three great monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—Patricia Hampl has gathered more than a hundred poems of faith, of spiritual longing, of devout disbelief. And in the spirit of Western prayer cycles she has ordered them according to the time of day: Morning, Noon, and Night.
Burning Bright includes poems by Francis of Assisi, Yehuda Amichai, William Blake, Rumi, Louise Erdrich, Rainer Maria Rilke, Maria Tsvetaeva, Sylvia Plath, Wallace Stevens, Nelly Sachs, Gharib Nawaz, Allen Ginsberg, and fifty-five others. Not only the deeply felt works of identifiably religious poets are included, but the passionate poems of poets driven by a yearning for the sacred.
In a broad reach over time and cultures, this collection moves into the very heart of faith and uncertainty. It attempts, Hampl says, "to make the day holy—or at least bearable," and we are left with the buoyancy that Yehuda Amichai describes in the last lines of the book's final poem:
Love is not the last room: there are others
after it, the whole length of the corridor
that has no end

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hampl, a poet, has put together a collection of spiritual poetry from the three Western religious traditions (Christian, Jewish, and Islamic) and arranged them by the time of day they reflect (morning, noon, night). Her arrangement is patterned after pagan and sacred collections such as the Christian Book of Hours, which have served for centuries as inspirational aids for getting through the day. Hampl's choices are eclectic and not exclusively inspirational in nature. Thus we find Alfred Tennyson's simple "Flower in the Cranied Wall" (morning), Allen Ginsberg's "Land o'Lakes..." (noon), and Sylvia Plath's "The Moon and the Yew Tree" (night). And the words of devout believers such as Nazik Al-Mala'ika ("Stay beyond life, in dreams, with love/Stay with poetry, and with God above") mingle with skeptics such as Melech Ravitch ("What's going to be the end for both of us-God?/Are you really going to let me die like this/and really not tell me the big secret?"). There are many favorites here: John Donne, William Blake, Czeslaw Milosz, Emily Dickinson, Rumi, Wallace Stevens, Gabriela Mistral, Rainer Maria Rilke, Linda Gregg, and more. Enhanced by Hampl's thoughtful, scholarly introduction, the book is recommended unconditionally.-Judy Clarence, California State Univ. Lib., Hayward

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345380296
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/29/2000
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.47(h) x 0.78(d)

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