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Poems can teach us in ways that surpass other forms of understanding, especially when the subject concerns matters of the heart. When the heart?s whispers are too faint for us to hear in ordinary ways, poetry can speak to us with another kind of eloquence.
From the leap of joy that a couple takes on their wedding day to a ...
Poems can teach us in ways that surpass other forms of understanding, especially when the subject concerns matters of the heart. When the heart’s whispers are too faint for us to hear in ordinary ways, poetry can speak to us with another kind of eloquence.
From the leap of joy that a couple takes on their wedding day to a fiftieth wedding anniversary that acknowledges the deep connection that a life together can bring, marriage takes us on a journey that passes through seasons and stages, peaks and valleys. This book honors that journey through twenty poems that celebrate and illuminate some of these major stages and provides not only inspiration for the journey but also solace and wisdom. Roger Housden, the author of Ten Poems to Change Your Life, provides essential insights into the poems, creating a collection of reflective prose and poetry that makes this an inspirational guidebook as much as a volume of poetry.
In Twenty Poems to Bless Your Marriage, Roger Housden offers poems and essays that will give voice to your heart, offering up words and wisdom not just for special occasions but to act as friends and guides to refer to throughout the life of a marriage.
1 The Joy 1
The Recognition 3
"Looking for Your Face," Rumi 13
"A Blessing for Wedding," Jane Hirshfield 15
"Our Love Is Like Byzantium," Henrik Nordbrandt 16
"The Recognition," Roy Croft 18
2 The Journey 21
Alone Together 23
"On Marriage" Kahlil Gibran 31
"The Quarrel," Conrad Aiken 32
"Tigers," Eliza Griswold 34
"Love Story," Wesley McNair 35
3 The Work 37
Soaked in Honey, Stung and Swollen 39
"Know Deeply, Know Thyself More Deeply," D. H. Lawrence 48
"The Well of Grief," David Whyte 49
"The Ache of Marriage," Denise Levertov 50
"Vow," Clare Shaw 51
4 The Love 55
Wake Up and Love 57
"It Happens All the Time in Heaven," Hafiz 69
"Sonnet 116," William Shakespeare 70
"I Come Home Wanting to Touch Everyone," Stephen Dunn 71
"We Take the New Young Couple Out to Dinner," Carol Tufts 73
5 The Union 75
Not One, Not Two 77
"A Third Body," Robert Bly 82
"Come with Me," Fran Landesman 83
"The Blue Robe," Wendell Berry 84
"Nothing Can Shatter This Love," Hafiz 85
6 The Saving Grace 87
From "Listening to the Köln Concert," Robert Bly 89
About the Poets 93
Posted January 8, 2013
I will begin my review by saying that I have only read one other book of poetry. Consequently, I am not sure if there is a “correct” way to rate a book of poetry so I will approach this review as I have other books in other genres.I loved the simplistic beauty of this book. The compilation of poems, from poets both ancient and modern, would have been beautiful by themselves; however, Roger Housden‘s essays provided a wonderfully intelligent cohesiveness between them.The poems were separated into six major areas of emphasis:1. The Joy - celebrates new love and marital commitment2. The Journey - focuses on two individuals becoming one and going through everyday life3. The Work - delves on the growth of a relationship that is gained through shared experiences and challenges4. The Love - explores the different forms and aspects of love5. The Union - focuses on the the melding of two souls that begins after marriage and expands throughout it6. Saving Grace - Loved this one because it deals with imperfections.This was an excellent compilation. I have already placed two on my Amazon wishlist to purchase when they become available in December. I made so many notes in my Kindle that I’m just going to point out a few of the most beautiful stanzas that I read.Roy Croft:I love youNot only for what you areBut for who I amWhen I am with youJane Hirshfield:Let the vow of this day keep itself wildly and whollySpoken and silent, surprise you in your earsSleeping and waking, unfold itself inside your eyesLet its fierceness and tenderness hold youDenise Levertov:Don’t lock me in wedlock, I want marriage, an encounterAnd finally from Stephen Dunn:Love itself has risen from its squalor of neglectThe simplicity in the poems presented would have major meaning and impact for married hearts — new and long lived. Housden states that Marriage is a crucible that commits into form the love that we have for another, and in so doing, it joins us to the passage of time. It takes our winged feet, holds them on the ground, and binds us at the ankles to the one we have chosen. To me, this translates to:Marriage is a bond that forges a commitment between two individuals. Their commitment keeps them in their bond when life, difficulties, and challenges come that would/could encourage them to otherwise flee it.I will definitely pick up other books of poetry by Mr. Housden because this one was so superbly presented!The book provided as a Net Galley review copy for an honest review.
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