The Compass of Affection: New and Selected Poems / Edition 1

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Overview

In this provocative collection, rich with expression and dense with meaning, Scott Cairns expresses an immediate, incarnate theology of God’s power and presence in the world.  Spanning thirty years and including selections from four of his previous collections, Compass of Affection illuminates the poet’s longstanding engagement with language as revelation, and with poetry as way of discovery.

 

For those who already admire the poetry of Scott Cairns and for those who have yet to be introduced, this essential volume presents the best of his work – the holy made tangible, love made flesh, and theology performed rather than discussed.

Praise for Scott Cairns’ work

“Scott Cairns [is] perhaps the most important and promising religious poet of his generation.”
Prairie Schooner

 

“The voice of Cairns is conversational and coaxing—confiding in us secrets that seem to be our own.”
Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Cairns's warm, calm, personal tones win him respect in many quarters, but his core audience comes from his subject matter: the mysteries, consolations and consequences of Christian belief. Questions about how to live as a Christian, how to understand such theological concepts as eros and agape, as sacrifice and resurrection, give depth and seriousness to his verse. Familiarity not only with New Testament texts but with the Church Fathers, their methods of exegesis and sometimes parallel questions from Jewish Learning give Cairns a range of allusion and launching pads for his poems, as in the winning series 'Adventures in New Testament Greek." A poem from his first collection, The Theology of Doubt (1985), explores 'the sober forms / of worship, the forms love rakes// when the mind is rested" "Late Apocalypse," one of the 27 new poems, begins, "Blessed is anyone who reads much of anything, blessed / and most unusual." That poem, among his best, rises into a serious condemnation of our consumer-driven world. More often Cairns seeks compassionate ways to apply the lessons of theologians or of Christ to his own life; one does not need to be Christian, or even religious, to profit from what he finds.

Publisher's Weekly June 5, 2006

Publishers Weekly
Cairns's warm, calm, personal tones win him respect in many quarters, but his core audience comes from his subject matter: the mysteries, consolations and consequences of Christian belief. Questions about how to live as a Christian, how to understand such theological concepts as eros and agape, as sacrifice and resurrection, give depth and seriousness to his verse. Familiarity not only with New Testament texts but with the Church Fathers, their methods of exegesis and sometimes parallel questions from Jewish learning give Cairns a range of allusion and launching pads for his poems, as in the winning series "Adventures in New Testament Greek." A poem from his first collection, The Theology of Doubt (1985), explores "the sober forms / of worship, the forms love takes// when the mind is rested"; "Late Apocalypse," one of the 27 new poems, begins, "Blessed is anyone who reads much of anything, blessed / and most unusual." That poem, among his best, rises into a serious condemnation of our consumer-driven world. More often Cairns seeks compassionate ways to apply the lessons of theologians or of Christ to his own life; one does not need to be Christian, or even religious, to profit from what he finds. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557255037
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 161
  • Sales rank: 1,243,652
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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