Alive and Well

In her book, “This War is the Passion” [1943], Caryll Houselander writes:  “The modern world has opposed poetry.  A mechanized world, a world of greed, a world at war, hard youth, art itself soulless and hard, all this is against poetry, the wonder of life.  Christ keeps poetry alive in the world, in its essence and in its outward form.  The Liturgy of the Church is the form in which Christ, God’s word of love, is sung continuously.  There is the rhythm of Christ, the Christ-voice, the continual utterance of the Word on earth.  Rhythm is not mere repetition.  It is the gathering of energy to the culmination of its own intensity.  It moves in a cycle, spending its life only in renewing it.  The rhythm of Christ is love moving on a circle of light from birth to death, from death to resurrection.” 

Many decades later, we find ourselves in an ever-more mechanized world, overwhelmed by technology, still filled with greed and war; but the cycle of life continues, and the wonder, the soul, is there for all who have eyes to see and ears to hear.  Christ’s poetry is ever-present – His rhythms, His cycles, His circle of Life.  Christ’s poets, in tune with His rhythms and cycles, with His very Life within them, restore our wonder, refresh our spirits, and replenish our souls. 

One such poet is fellow-blogger Ann, of Poetry, Prayer, and Praise.  Ann’s poetic gift is well-known to her readers, inspiring reflection, meditation, and the simple joy of soaking in the beauty of her imagery.  Much to our delight, Ann has recently published a book of her poetry entitled, The Blueness Above:  Poetry, Prayer and Praise“.  All proceeds from the sale of her book are generously being donated to worthy causes, so from Ann’s poetry, we have blessings all around.  After months of reading Ann’s poems on her blog, I would be hard-pressed to choose a favourite, but let me leave you with a small sample (readers may see several of the included poems by clicking on the preview button at the Lulu site to which I have linked).
A Time for Praise

There is one God,Ann's Back Cover 
One who loves and goes on loving
One whose love abounds.
He is here and near
As He once was yonder and hither,
He breathes life into the day
And warmth into the darkness.
His is the light that floods the heavens,
His strength is in the tides
And His mercy streams from age to age,
His is the voice of the bleating lamb,
The beauty of a hillside trapped in light,
The river in its rage;
There is a God
And now as ever is a time for praise.

[The second picture is Ann’s back cover.]


7 thoughts on “Alive and Well

  1. Ann’s poetry is both pristine and succinct, and her photography is also something to write home about.
    🙂 The above poem is exquisite; I can hardly wait to order a book. Ann: Well done, beautifully done, and it is nice to have the reminder that art / beauty / love was all entirely free, once.. Of course, book publishers don’t care about that, lol, but I’m so glad you do. God bless you.

  2. The ocean, thunder, a baby’s sleeping sigh (where we got our inspiration for music), the daffodil’s core, a bluejay’s comb, unity of any Two– all are His poems; joy is the captive audience, and the Fiat, applause. I used to say I couldn’t live without swimming, and then, the ocean; then, I wondered where I’d be if not for Jesuits, and now, yes–poetry. It is either a very selfish thing, or we were made for poetry. Poetry is mere humanity at its most honest.

  3. I think this is exactly what Padre Salvatore meant in the last letter he wrote to his family and friends – and what the song “It’s a wonderful world” that I used in the salute to his life and work alludes to: the poetic wonder of each and every experience we make in life. He told me innumerable times “I’ve accepted all the good things the Lord has given me, why shouldn’t I accept just as graciously, the sacrifice he is now asking me to make?

    Caryll Houselander has put her finger on it, and so has Ann…and C.O. (Carol) …and Karol, too.
    “Poetry is mere humanity at its most honest”. yes siree!

  4. I often wonder, who could not believe in God, just on the basis of nature and music alone. God bless the artists, musicians and poets who help express for us what we often experience as big, wordless aches and yearnings.

  5. I am very touched by your kind words and encouragement, and may I say a very special thank you to Gabrielle for this post. I have arranged for a Mass of Thanksgiving to be offered for all of you who have brought me such hope and helped me reach this moment of fulfillment in the publishing of the poems. A hundred thousand thank you s and blessings this day.

  6. Oh Ann, you’re very welcome; your poetry is a gift to us all. And thank you so much for the Mass of Thanksgiving – what a beautiful idea. Just the thought of being included in the same Mass as dear friends brings joy to my heart.

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