Tag Archives: Spirituality

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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Uncontrollable Mystery on the Bestial Floor

A Yeats poem about the Magi helps us transition out of Christmas and back into our work lives.

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Love Saith, “Be with Me Where I Am”

A Christina Rossetti poem about the massacre of the innocents looks for solace for such tragedies in Christ’s love.

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I Carry You in Me Like an Embryo

Marge Piercy’s mother died during Hanukkah and the poet uses the season to reflect upon their contentious relationship.

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I Grasp God’s Garment in the Void

For Denise Levertov, poetry and prayer run on parallel tracks.

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Haunted by the Absent Music

“The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” episode in “Wind in the Willows” is a powerful expression of pantheism.

Posted in Finkelstein (Norman), Grahame (Kenneth) | Also tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Half in Love with Easeful Death

In his haunting “Ode to a Nightingale,” Keats imagines himself as a homesick Ruth standing “amid the alien corn.”

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Be Wide as the Air to Learn a Secret

Rumi honors the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha, which centers on the story of Abraham and Isaac.

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A Vast Unfolding Design Lit by a Risen Sun

Denise Levertov wrestled with God’s relationship to evil in the world.

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Yom Kippur – Disordered Souls Thirsting

The spirit of Yom Kippur is captured through the harvest imagery of a Jane Kenyon poem.

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Water to Solace Our Dry Hearts

Levertov’s “Fountain” invokes the healing power of water.

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To Beauty: A Constant Sacrament of Praise

Wallace Stevens’ “Peter Quince” mingles eroticism with spirituality.

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Tess Reveals the Real Meaning of Baptism

The unorthodox baptism in “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” gives us special insight into the power of the ritual.

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Bread, the Universal Language

Poet Linda Pastan, like Jesus, sees in bread a metaphor for spiritual transcendence.

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Like a Reed, Open Yourself to God’s Breath

Rumi says that Ramadan is a time when, by emptying our bellies, we open up a path to spirit.

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Drought Is a Form of God’s Joy

If we look at a drought through God’s eyes, Rumi tells us, we will see green corn. The same holds for relationships.

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