Poetry

Greg Kennedy, SJ, shared an Advent poem on the igNation blog. Here’s a taste. We’ve all taken numbers from the red machine on the wall. Above, red periods on a screen combine into figures that put our time in its place; we wait and wait efficiently.

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A poem by Scott Cairns: Your petitions—though they continue to bear just the one signature—have been duly recorded. Your anxieties—despite their constant, relatively narrow scope and inadvertent entertainment value—nonetheless serve to bring your person vividly to mind. Your repentance—all but obscured beneath a burgeoning, yellow fog of frankly more conspicuous resentment—is sufficient. Your intermittent concern […]

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A thoughtful poem by Philip Chircop, SJ: We pray today and every day not to change the mind of God but to change our mind that we may wake up and choose life over death blessing over curse We pray today and every day not to change the mind of God but that we may […]

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Every once in a while a great writer describes an experience that you know is universal and is nearly beyond words.  This short reading by Frederick Buechner is one of those times.  It reaches a deep place where wisdom dwells.  (Click here to watch it on YouTube.)  H/T to Jon Sweeney.

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In his book The Ignatian Adventure, Kevin O’Brien, SJ, mentions a poem by Richard Wilbur in his discussion of the Contemplation to Attain the Love of God at the end of the Spiritual Exercises.  Its title is “Love Calls Us to the Things of This World.”  It’s about dwelling in the spiritual heights, but then, […]

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Mary Karr is an Ignatian-influenced former atheist, recovering alcoholic, and one my favorite poets.  I’ve written about her before.  This poem is entitled “Who the Meek Are Not.”     Not the bristle-bearded Igors bent under burlap sacks, not peasants knee-deep     in the rice paddy muck, nor the serfs whose quarter-moon sickles     make the wheat fall […]

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At Mass last Sunday, Dennis Dillon, SJ, ended his homily with this poem by Alden Nowland.   It’s titled “Great Things Have Happened.” We were talking about the great things that have happened in our lifetimes; and I said, “Oh, I suppose the moon landing was the greatest thing that has happened in my time.” […]

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In March, my wife and I missed a connection because of congestion at O’Hare airport. We vowed never to fly through O’Hare again if we could avoid it. But after reading the poem “Transportation” by Kristen Lindquist, I might reconsider. Everyone in O’Hare is happy today. Sun shines benevolently onto glorious packaged snack foods and […]

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I hadn’t known about the priest-poet John O’Donohue until I read this post by Michelle Francl-Donnay.  The poem “A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted” might have been inspired by the Examen. Take refuge in your senses, open up To all the small miracles you rushed through. Become inclined to watch the way of rain […]

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e.e. cummings’ poem “i thank You God for most this amazing day” is a lyric of thanksgiving. Read it here. Here it is read by Cummings himself. (Click here if you are getting this post by e-mail.)

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