Poetry Casts Fresh Eye On Lent, Easter Gospels, Writes
“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Miller to Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) and a previously unpublished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,
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.
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: AmericanCatholic.org.
Permission is granted to reprint this release.