Summary: David Wright's A Liturgy for Stones does not fit easily into poetic categories. Though they take up biblical texts and themes, the poems are not especially devotional. Nor are the poems merely academic, though they demonstrate considerable poetic craft. Instead, these poems suggest fresh ways of poetically singing within and against the Christian tradition.
The title poem meditates on Jesus' warning that if his disciples stay quiet, The very stones will cry out. And the voices of these stones, joined with those of biblical characters, reluctant believers, and exultant skeptics suggest how poetry might still have a place in the life of the faithful if they dare to Let untamed language fall on a thousand unsuspecting tongues.
Wright's poems are alive with music and motion. His voice
in A Liturgy for Stones finds daring pitches and
a force of rhythm, disrupting our comfort zones. Wright
sings his interrogations and affirmations of earth, body,
and spirit, recognizing that much is hidden, and that
much can be found in God's 'kingdom of margins.' These
beautiful and lucid poems call us to unlock our own
tongues and to sing what is true, and then to listen to
the echoing silence, a place of "terrible holiness,
a lush and delicate calm."
"As the stones themselves cry
outeven in their stillnesstheir praise, so do
these sculpted poems manifesteven in their
praisea glimpse of holy stillness. In A Liturgy for
Stones, David Wright has come upon a rich and enriching
vein whereby our daily narratives may be seen to partake
of the greater story, our many comedies and tragedies to
partake of the One."
David Wright moves from
meditation to word-magic in a scenario where every day
offers ample opportunity for midrash. The stones do speak
when properly addressed in that curious mixture of wonder
and praise that we call poetry.
"In these vivid, urgent poems
David Wright contends--sometimes angrily, often
tenderly--with a whole series of his crucial loves and
adversaries: family, landscape, history, faith, his
fellow poets and teachers. Among this welter his voice
rings out, modest but stubborn, gentle but keen, funny
but quite serious, and always alert for the secrets to be
found in such canny, lyrical explorations of the
Market: Anyone open to poetry that blends high craft with accessibility, faith, and passion.
Shelving: Poetry; Anabaptist-Mennonite literature. BISAC: Poetry; RTM: 640 Poetry
The Author: The poems, essays, and reviews of Chicago-area resident David Wright have appeared in The Christian Century, The Mars Hill Review, re:generation quarterly, The Midwest Quarterly, The Mennonite Quarterly Review, and many other publications. His poetry for The Mennonite has been recognized by the Associate Church Press. A native of the Midwest, he has taught writing and literature at several colleges in Illinois. A Liturgy for Stones is his second collection of poetry. His work is also featured in the anthology A Capella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry.
Publishing House (the new name of Pandora Press U.S.)
A Liturgy for Stones orders:
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