Book Review: Christian Poetry in America Since 1940: an Anthology

In her poem “The Angel Over Patmos,”1 Tania Runyan imagines an angel circling “like a plane on hold” over the island while John “hunches in a cave down there,/picking at a skeleton of fish.” This image, of the message on high waiting to communicate with the human and the human seeking to communicate with the Divine (which occurs later in the poem), recurs in many guises throughout the attractive new collection Christian Poetry in America Since 1940. I hope you are enjoying National Poetry Month as I am, and reading this delightful book is one way to celebrate the season.

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Great to read contemporary spiritually-centered poetry! That said, my favorite is slightly older (16th century John Donne), the sonnet which starts “Batter my heart, three person’d God”. Particularly I love the line “but I am betroth’d to your enemy; divorce me, untie, or break that knot again. Take me to you, imprison me…”

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