Tag Archives: Spirituality

Rosh Hashanah – A Stirring of Wonder

Two poems, by Muriel Rukeyser and Denise Levertov, to celebrate Rosh Hashanah by

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My Blind Eyes Were Touched with Light

Helen Keller’s poem about revelation–“In the Garden of the Lord”–has a vision of revelation that is all the more powerful because we know the speaker is literally blind. That gives special poignancy to the line, “My blind eyes were touched with light.”

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Wander Slowly through the Forest

In this nature poem Mary Oliver tells us to open ourselves to “God or the gods,” to listen for “the words that will never leave God’s mouth,” to linger in the wind and the rain and to wander slowly through forests,

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We Feel Closest to God in the Desert

André Gide takes the story of the Prodigal Son and sees it a parable of unconventional exploring and spiritual hunger. Returning home, as Gide sees it, is a defeat, yet the message is Christian nonetheless.

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A Guest Worthy To Be Here

Jesus learned to accept a Canaanite woman at his table and George Herbert learns that he belongs at that table. We can use them as models as we face refugees and immigrants.

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Look Down on Us Who Journey by Night

Alfred Noyes’s “Night Journey” looks to God to find hope in the night.

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The Spirit Moves in Continual Creation

In “Chorus,” Elizabeth Jennings finds God in ‘tears shed in the lonely fastness/And in sorrow after anger.”

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Scorn No Vision That a Dewdrop Holds

Eva Gore-Booth finds divinity with a dewdrop here, and twilight hour there. The “One” can be found in “the gentle Light that shines behind the storm.”

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From the Dark, Cold Grime a Flower Comes

Mary Ann Bernard shows spring coming only with difficulty–but being all the more meaningful because of that.

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How to Keep Beauty from Vanishing Away

Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo” works as a Lenten meditation on the beauty of God’s grace.

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Rosh Hashanah: Weave Real Connections

Marge Piercy poem about gardens functions as a reflection upon how we spend out time and work. It’s appropriate, in other words, for Rosh Hashanah.

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God Dreams Us, Not Vice Versa

C. S. Lewis has a poem that addresses our frustrations that God isn’t listening to our prayers.

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Who Is the Third Always Beside You?

Eliot’s reference to the Road to Emmaus story in “The Wasteland” may be sign of hope rather than despair.

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Tormented, Torn & Twisted with Doubt

In Levertov’s poem on St. Thomas, she links his doubts with that of the father of the demon-possessed son who comes to Jesus.

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Here Is No Water but Only Rock

Dry rocks have functioned as images of spiritual desolation throughout the history of Good Friday poetry.

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The Journeys of the Night Survive

“Akiba” is a powerful Passover poem by Muriel Rukeyser that links the flight from Egypt to other liberation struggles.

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The Opening of Eyes Long Closed

A Salman Rushdie short story and a David Whyte poem lead to insights into the story of Jesus and the blind man.

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Real Religion Is Like Literature

If the “Chronicles of Narnia” are read narrowly as Christian propaganda, then they suffer and so does Christianity.

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He Will Come Like Crying in the Night

Christmas hope does not come without deep struggle at the darkest time of the year.

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Layla Dancing in a Globe of Light

Some of the great religious poetry turns to sexual imagery to capture the ecstatic union with the divine.

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Poetry – A Finite Image of Infinity

Frithjof Schuon explores how poetry echoes the divine.

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We All Are Falling

A spiritual poem by Rilke about falling leaves.

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Ballad of a Nun, a Bordello, and Mary

Scott Bates’ “Ballad of Thoughtful Love” retells a medieval fable about a nun-turned-whore who is saved by the Virgin Mary.

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What Liberty a Loosened Spirit Brings

Although she didn’t go to church, Emily Dickinson was spiritually uplifted by reading the Bible.

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Nature Red in Tooth & Claw? Maybe Not

Carleton’s Ian Barbour turned to Tennyson in seeking to find connections between science and religion.

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Your One Wild and Precious Life

Mary Oliver’s celebration of summer is a prayer operates as a prayer of gratitude.

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A Breathing Palace of Leaves

Many of Mary Oliver’s nature poems enact a version of the crucifixion and resurrection.

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Palms before My Feet

This Chesterton poems recounts Palm Sunday from the donkey’s point of view.

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Fleeing God (a.k.a. the Hound of Heaven)

Francis Thompson’s huanting “Hound of Heaven” captures the fears who of those who think of themselves as unworthy of love.

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My Grandson, a “Best Philosopher”

Having grandchildren has changed my perspective on Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality.”

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First Snowfall, A Moment of Grace

For Mary Oliver, the season’s first snow fall raises existential questions and then answers them in its own way.

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