HUMANITY HAS BEEN reaching ever since Eve put her hand out and plucked the forbidden fruit. Since then, our acts of extension have been plagued far too often with violence and, in the end, death and despair. Philip Kolin’s new book of poetry, Reaching Forever: Poems, takes on those stretches and examines them with grace. His book is a fresh take on what it means to be loved and loving.
In the poem “God Comes to the Eternal Gate Holiness Church,” Kolin makes short work of people whose reaching is unsuccessful, via one of my favorite lines: “Bystanders down country roads reach out to him.” In other words, the spiritual life is not one for spectators but for those who do God’s will.