Poetry

Robert Hirschfield 1-01-2012

Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art, and the Architecture of Silence. And, Fasting For Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice.

Ken Sehested 11-01-2011

We all knew it would come.
Someday. Always later.
Mañana.
It comes for us all. Sure.
Of course.
We know that. Someday.
Mañana.

But when someday draws near
for someone you love
whose silenced breath sears
your lungs with flames of grief
and sobs so immense
you wonder:
How dare the sun ascend?
The stars to shine?
Even the yeast to rise!

Sarah Vanderveen 10-31-2011

gatsby
With her teenage son reading The Great Gatsby for school, poet Sarah Vanderveen revisits Fitzgerald's masterpiece, this time as an audio experience.

Eboo Patel 9-09-2011

Ten years on, I'm remembering the literature I read and the music that kept me going in the days and months after 9/11. I had Rumi and Whitman on my bedside table, reading them back to back, alternating between selections of the Mathnawi and poems from Leaves of Grass, sometimes feeling like the two were one, the soul of America, and that the soul of Islam were intersecting at some point beyond where the eye could see:

Whoever you are!, motion and reflection are especially for you, The divine ship sails the divine sea for you. -- Walt Whitman

Come, come, whoever you are, Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving, Ours is not a caravan of despair. Even if you have broken your vows a thousand times It doesn't matter Come, come yet again, come. -- Rumi

Until then, the Quran for me was a book of personal spiritual guidance, a convening symbol for my religious community. But after 9/11, I viewed it as a balm for my country's pain, especially lines from Ayat al-Kursi: "His throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them."

Richard Schiffman 9-01-2011

Eschewing perfection, they knotted in a flaw,
the human signature and kink that made
the carpet whole -- not less perfect, but more
for the fraying edge, the bleeding dyes
that cloak their treasure in disguise,
an act of indirection modeled from on high:
as when the Deity said Be ...
and out crawled -- the twisted,
the crippled, the deformed.

(for Daniel Berrigan on his ninetieth birthday)

'Statue of liberty' photo (c) 2011, Rakkhi Samarasekera - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"I will call them my people, who were not my people. And her beloved, who was not beloved." (Romans 9:25 referencing Hosea 2:23)

Estranged, alienated, and removed; anyone living in an industrialized modern society in the 21st century would be able to define, or at least identify the sentiments of these words. Our time is one of mass communication and instantaneous access to knowledge. And yet our lives are too compartmentalized, increasingly divided, and our society reflects this. Indeed the existential writers of yesteryear were correct in diagnosing the iron cage that would befall us, ultimately leading to an eclipse of reason.

Claire Lorentzen 6-28-2011
Scott Kinder-Pyle is a Presbyterian pastor in Spokane, Washington, and the featured poet in Sojourners' July issue.
Brian McLaren 6-15-2011

In addition to my summer reading recommendations from the other day, I need to mention a few more.

Walter Brueggemann 4-22-2011

In Christian confession, Good Friday is the day of loss and defeat; Sunday is the day of recovery and victory. Friday and Sunday summarize the drama of the gospel that continues to be re-performed, always again, in the life of faith. In the long gospel reading of the lectionary for this week (Matthew 27:11-54), we hear the Friday element of that drama: the moment when Jesus cries out to God in abandonment (Matthew 27: 46). This reading does not carry us, for this day, toward the Sunday victory, except for the anticipatory assertion of the Roman soldier who recognized that Jesus is the power of God for new life in the world (verse 54). Given that anticipation, the reading invites the church to walk into the deep loss in hope of walking into the new life that will come at the end of the drama.

Sneha Abraham 4-01-2011

Touched your hem / A thousand times / A face just / Beyond my sight / Space between / Grace, grief

Rose Marie Berger 2-25-2011
Writer and Trappist monk Matthew Kelty died last week at age 95. His is an example of a good life and a good death.
Jesse Nathan 9-01-2010

No, nothing,

she says, that is not God’s, and we approach
a crow ripping the entrails

of a truck-crushed fox, and the crow flees

Priscilla Atkins 8-01-2010

The hospital chaplain who sits in the room of a sick child
in Chicago and brings the child to God—not with words
but by her quiet presence.

I've always longed to see the world through a poet's eyes -- to see the magical in the everyday and to be able to weave words in such a way as to convey that magic to others.
Jeannie Choi 5-11-2010
Sojourners magazine was recently recognized as the best general interest magazine by two leading religious press organizations for the second str
Steve Holt 4-23-2010
"To believe is human, to doubt divine."

Jennifer Svetlik 3-09-2010

As a Sojourners intern last year, I, along with my community-mates, had the opportunity to request speakers to invite to address us during weekly seminars. Peace activist and poet Fr. Daniel Berrigan was on the top of my list.

Robert Hirschfield 3-01-2010
Poet Meena Alexander and the shifting terrain of the migrant experience.

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