Contact John Koize, ext. 130

Poetry Casts Fresh Eye On Lent, Easter Gospels, Writes Peggy Rosenthal

“Sometimes we find that the best-loved Gospel stories become so familiar that we can no longer respond to them. Poetry’s special art is to cast a fresh eye on the too familiar,” according to Peggy Rosenthal in her new book, Praying the Gospels through Poetry: Lent to Easter (St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2002, ISBN 0-86716-422-0, paper, 96 pages, $6.95).

In ten chapters, using contemporary poems by writers from Vassar Miller to Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) and a previously unpublished poem by award-winning Romanian poet Liliana Ursu, Rosenthal guides the reader from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.  Each chapter contains discussion of the Scripture reading for that day, a poem, the author’s reflections on the poem, and a “Now I Wonder…” section to spur the reader’s own reflection and prayer. Rosenthal writes, “Praying the Gospels though Poetry presents one poem for each Gospel episode and reflects on the poem so as to bring it into dialogue with the Gospel and to invite the reader into the exchange.”

Rosenthal gives readers “…poems to accompany you through the special moments of Lent that the church offers…in these…Gospel readings…. Lingering with poetry in this long, graced pause can enrich not only these Lenten days but also our Easter experience.” 

About Rosenthal’s book, Robert F. Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop of Green Bay writes,  “Religion and art have experienced an unhappy separation in recent years. No longer. In Praying the Gospels through Poetry, Peggy Rosenthal has wedded our faith and our poetic artists in a fresh and unique way. Herein is a rich resource for personal and communal prayer.” Robert Waldron, author of Poetry as Prayer: Thomas Merton, calls Praying the Gospels  “…a luminous poetic journey through the holy season of Lent…. paves a new pathway toward the Resurrection: a path of sparkling poems by modern poets whose verse is radiant with their faith, hope and love…a book to treasure for all seasons.” 

Peggy Rosenthal, Ph.D., is the author of many books and articles on poetry and Christianity, including The Poets’ Jesus: Representations at the End of a Millennium and Divine Inspiration: The Life of Jesus in World Poetry, both published by Oxford University Press. The Poets’ Jesus received honorable mention for Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature. As codirector of Poetry Retreats, she gives retreats on reading poetry for spiritual growth.

Praying the Gospels through Poetry: Lent to Easter and other resources for Lent and Easter can be ordered from St. Anthony Messenger Press, 28 W. Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45210. To place an order, phone toll-free 1-800-488-0488; to request a review copy, call John Koize, ext. 130. Visit the St. Anthony Messenger Press Web site:


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