Sunday, March 9, 2014

Literature to Enrich Your Lent

I am loving this book, A God in the House:  Poets Talk about Faith.  I suppose I am the perfect reader for the book, with my interests in poetry and theology always competing for primacy. 

But even non-perfect readers will find that the book is really well done, with poets talking honestly, near as I can tell, about the ways that their faith has both sustained and disappointed them, as well as talking about how it has changed through the years.

It's one of those books that I ordered and promptly forgot about as I devoured the other books that came with the order--and then the Christmas season was fully upon us.  The other night, I needed something to soothe me into sleep, and I remembered it, and I could remember where I'd put it.  It was so good that I wanted to stay up reading, yet it did the trick of quieting my anxious mind.

I've only read two or three of the essays, but I've dipped in and out of the rest of the collection enough to know that I'll find the rest of the essays deeply interesting.
So, if you're looking for a book to enrich your Lent, a book that may take you off the beaten path of Lent, I encourage you to try this one, and to explore some of the poetry of these poets too.  And let me record a writing idea that I ma pursue later:  it would be cool to create collections of poetry to enrich liturgical seasons.  We've got plenty of devotional books of other kinds, but not as much literary work as I'd like to see.

I spent Wednesday afternoon reading T. S. Eliot's "Ash Wednesday," a poem I don't remember reading before.  It was a wonderfully enriching experience.  I had no commentary, nothing to tell me what I should believe about the poem.  I got to let the images wash over me.  I had no theologian telling me how I should use those images to transform my spiritual development.  I had no visual image beyond those that my brain created.  It was wonderful.

I'd like more of that in my life.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

You're not the only perfect reader... Thanks for the heads up.