Soul Is Here for Its Own Joy: Sacred Poems From Many Cultures

Overview

Robert Bly's ground-breaking anthology of spiritual poems, the result of over a decade of personal research, celebrates the ongoing role of the divine in literature. For as long as people have lived together in communities and built enduring cultures, they have sung and written about their relationship with the God or gods they believed in. In the words of the Irish writer Sean O'Faolain, "all good writing in the end is the writer's argument with God."

The Soul Is Here For Its ...

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Overview

Robert Bly's ground-breaking anthology of spiritual poems, the result of over a decade of personal research, celebrates the ongoing role of the divine in literature. For as long as people have lived together in communities and built enduring cultures, they have sung and written about their relationship with the God or gods they believed in. In the words of the Irish writer Sean O'Faolain, "all good writing in the end is the writer's argument with God."

The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy gathers poems from a wide range of cultures and traditions and divides them into ten parts, each forming a resonant exploration of a specific and timeless spiritual question. Selections include the work of Dante, Dogen, Goethe, Hafez, Juan Ramon Jimenez, Kabir, Lalla, Li Po, Mirabai, Mary Oliver, Owl Woman, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Rumi, in addition to Blake, Dickinson, Donne, Hopkins, Stevens, Yeats, and other important English and American poets. Together these poems form both a celebration and a quest--a kind of pilgrim's progress that embraces all the rich wisdom of East and West, ancient and modern, male and female, spirit and flesh.

With this new anthology of poetry, Bly touches upon the current controversy surrounding religion, spirituality, and how we can evoke the two meaningfully into our modern lives. Divided into 10 sections, each one exploring a different aspect of spiritual questioning, mythical symbolism, amd mystical faith which has resonated across cultures and throughout time.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780880014755
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/1/1997
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 722,062
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Bly's books of poetry include The Night Abraham Called to the Stars and My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy. His awards include the National Book Award for poetry and two Guggenheims. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Read an Excerpt

Sunset

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Slowly the west reaches for clothes of new colors
which it passes to a row of ancient trees.
You look, and soon these two worlds both leave you,
one part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth,

leaving you, not really belonging to either,
not so hopelessly dark as that house that is silent,
not so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing
that turns to a star each night and climbs

leaving you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)
your own life, timid and standing high and growing,
so that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,
one moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.

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