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When books come into my hands…

…good things happen!

So many times I’ve had a question or an interest in something, or I’m feeling stymied or stonewalled in my writing, and a book will come to me one way or another and I’m left breathless by its appropriateness and shockingly precise timing.

In the past week or so, I’ve started reading two books of poetry.  I happened to be watching Bill Moyers when he interviewed Christian Wiman , author of every riven thing, and I was transfixed by the poetry of this man living with a life threatening illness and how he has let that inform his brutal yet hopeful spirituality.  I read only a couple poems at a time and follow them into this man’s heart where God goes belonging to every riven thing he’s made. Here is strength and a terrible beauty.  And I leave his pages blessed.

And then there’s Barrows and Macy’s translation of Rilke’s Book of Hours, and oh my!  I don’t know what I was expecting or what inspired me to buy this classic now, but the verses left me badly shaken from the very first.  Rilke intended this work to be his “Love Poems to God,” but what do I hear but the voice of the Magdalene speaking clear and strong:  The hour is striking so close above me,/ so clear and sharp,/ that all my senses ring with it./  I feel it now: there’s a power in me/ to grasp and give shape to my world.

It was no accident that both these books came into my hands at precisely this moment.  Oh mercy no!  And both will help coax forth a deeper and richer Magdalene from my pen.

Oh mercy yes!

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One Comment

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    Posted October 8, 2013 at 6:24 am | Permalink

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