Tag Archives: Poetry Anthology

Love, Remember: A New Book

This is just an advance notice to readers of my blog,to say that I have finished work on a third poetry anthology for Canterbury Press which will be called Love Remember and will be published at the end of October. My first two Anthologies, Waiting on the Word and Word in the Wilderness, accompanied Advent, and Lent, two seasons of the liturgical year, though they are also seasons of the spirit. My new anthology is offered to accompany and express nt a season of the year, but a season of the heart. It is an anthology of poetry that takes us on a journey through bereavement, grief, lamentation, remembrance and hope. As I say in the introduction:

This book is written to give voice both to love and to lamentation, to find expression for grief without losing hope, to help us honour the dead with tears, yet still to glimpse through those tears the light of resurrection. It is written in the conviction that the grief which we so often hide in embarrassment, the tears of which some people would want to make us ashamed, are the very things that make us most truly human. Grief and lament spring from the deepest parts of our soul because, however bitter the herbs and fruits they seem to bear, their real root is Love and I believe that it is Love who made the world and made us who we are.

There are poems from the great tradition, by Shakespeare, Shelley, Browning, Tennyson, and also by contemporary poets like Luci Shaw and Carol Ann Duffy, as well as some of my own. As in my previous anthologies, each poem is followed by a brief essay which opens it out and reflects on its depths, which is something I know readers of my previous anthologies have found helpful. Here’s what I say in the introduction about how the book might be used:

This is an anthology into which one might simply dip, searching through the parts for a particular poem or finding the words that express or match a mood as it is needed. It might be used a resource to find language for oneself, for a friend, or even for a service or memorial; words that will give expression that needs to be said on that specific occasion. But it is also possible to use this book as a companion for the journey of grief itself, or as a means to accompany a friend who is making that journey. Most religions in their earlier traditions have set aside a special period somewhere between 30 and 40 days for a first intense and companioned encounter with mourning. In Judaism this was called Shiat. First the seven days of private grief, and then a further 30 accompanied lamentation. In the Catholic Church there was a tradition of 40 days of mourning, matching and balancing the 40 days of Lent. This book is also organised so that anyone who wishes can also make this journey with the poets over 40 days. For each day there will be the offered nourishment of a poem and my prose reflection on it. However you use this book I hope that it will give expression to Loving Remembrance and that you will find, as Tennyson did, that ‘it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’.

Anyway the book is now available for advance order from Amazon and from Canterbury Press, I hope some of my readers here will find it helpful.

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A word about “The Word in the Wilderness” (my new book)

My new book from Canterbury Press

My new book from Canterbury Press

As January is often a time when Churches, and indeed individuals, start to think about what they might take up as spiritual reading for Lent (as opposed to the myriad things they might give up!) I thought I might mention that my own ‘Lent Book’ is now out with Canterbury Press.

The Word in the Wilderness is an anthology which offers the reader a poem for each day of Lent, Holy Week and Easter, together with a short reflection of 700-800 words in which I open out that particular poem, set it in context and try to share something of what it has to offer. The book is shaped, over all by the theme of an accompanied journey through the wilderness with Christ, and has sections on pilgrimage, on prayer as conversation on the journey, and on the poets we read as fellow pilgrims. The poetry itself is drawn from a wide range of sources, from Dante to our own contemporaries.

The book could be used either privately as a devotional inner journey, just read at home each day, or the journey could be shared as a group, and this indeed is how it began. Last Lent at St. Edwards, I ‘road-tested’ the contents of this book with a group who agreed to read the poems at home each day and then meet once a week to discuss the previous week’s poems, which worked very well and elicited all kinds of new insights, for me as well as for the group members.

However you use it I hope you are able to get a copy and enjoy it. It is available on Amazon UK here, and in America here and in Canada here, and can of course be ordered via your favourite local bookshop. It is also downloadable now on Kindle

Finally I will be combining a launch of this book with a poetry reading of my own at Beautiful Sarum College in Salisbury on February 6th at 7pm, do come along to that event if you are free and in the area!

Sarum college, where I will have the book Launch and Poetry Reading

Sarum college, where I will have the book Launch and Poetry Reading

 

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Filed under christianity, imagination, literature