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Poetry as Spiritual Practice: Reading, Writing, and Using Poetry in Your Daily Rituals, Aspirations, and Intentions

by

Poetry as Spiritual Practice: Reading, Writing, and Using Poetry in Your Daily Rituals, Aspirations, and Intentions Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"[When we read and write poetry,] it is as if a long-settled cloud in our mind suddenly dissipates, and we are divine once again." — from the Introduction

Poetry is the language of devotion in prayer, chant, and song. Reading and writing poetry creates clarity, deepens and expands spiritual inquiry, and cultivates wisdom, compassion, self-confidence, patience, and love. In author Robert McDowell's words, poetry makes you into a tuning fork of the Divine.

But poetry has disappeared over the centuries from religious ceremonies, academic curricula, and public discourse. In Poetry as Spiritual Practice, the first inspirational and instructional guide to combine poetry and spirituality, McDowell restores poetry as the natural language of spiritual practice and invites you to recognize poetry as "the pure sound and shape of your spirit."

Vividly illustrated with a wide range of poems from all historical eras and poetic traditions, numerous religions and faiths, and McDowell's own and his students' work, Poetry as Spiritual Practice will reintroduce you to the unique pleasure of verse. And meditations throughout will allow you to integrate reading and writing poetry into your spiritual journeys and daily life.

Since many of us have long forgotten, or never learned, the mechanics and terminology of poetry — trochaic feet and tropes trip us up; we can't tell a villanelle from its shorter cousin, rondeau; and a terza rima may as well be a tanka — this is also an instructional handbook on reading and writing poetry. An engaging guide through the landscape of world poetry, McDowell argues along the way for the many practical benefits of poetic literacy.

Making poetry an essential part of daily rituals, aspirations, and intentions will put you on the path to greater meaning, growth, and peace in your life. At once an engaging technical primer, a profound meditation on the relationship between poetry and the Divine, and an inspirational guide for integrating poetry into spiritual practice, Poetry as Spiritual Practice will become a cherished companion.

Review:

"Reading this lovely guide awakens in you a deeper appreciation for poetry and messages of the Spirit. It communicates a poet's soul — and helps you articulate that deep place of truth for yourself." Caroline Myss, author of Entering the Castle and Anatomy of the Spirit

Review:

"At the same time that Robert McDowell is teaching us to approach the reading and writing of poems as acts of prayer in his brilliantly insightful book, Poetry as Spiritual Practice, he is quietly doing another astonishing thing: creating community. McDowell's exercises at the end of each chapter liberate poetry from a solitary contemplative practice to a collective celebration of the sacred. I will share this book with everyone I love." Mirabai Starr, author of new translations of Dark Night of the Soul by John of the Cross and The Interior Castle and The Book of My Life by Teresa of Ávila

Synopsis:

"[When we read and write poetry,] it is as if a long-settled cloud in our mind suddenly dissipates, and we are divine once again." — from the Introduction

Poetry is the language of devotion in prayer, chant, and song. Reading and writing poetry creates clarity, deepens and expands spiritual inquiry, and cultivates wisdom, compassion, self-confidence, patience, and love. In author Robert McDowell's words, poetry makes you into a tuning fork of the Divine.

But poetry has disappeared over the centuries from religious ceremonies, academic curricula, and public discourse. In Poetry as Spiritual Practice, the first inspirational and instructional guide to combine poetry and spirituality, McDowell restores poetry as the natural language of spiritual practice and invites you to recognize poetry as "the pure sound and shape of your spirit."

Vividly illustrated with a wide range of poems from all historical eras and poetic traditions, numerous religions and faiths, and McDowell's own and his students' work, Poetry as Spiritual Practice will reintroduce you to the unique pleasure of verse. And meditations throughout will allow you to integrate reading and writing poetry into your spiritual journeys and daily life.

Since many of us have long forgotten, or never learned, the mechanics and terminology of poetry — trochaic feet and tropes trip us up; we can't tell a villanelle from its shorter cousin, rondeau; and a terza rima may as well be a tanka — this is also an instructional handbook on reading and writing poetry. An engaging guide through the landscape of world poetry, McDowell argues along the way for the many practical benefits of poetic literacy.

Making poetry an essential part of daily rituals, aspirations, and intentions will put you on the path to greater meaning, growth, and peace in your life. At once an engaging technical primer, a profound meditation on the relationship between poetry and the Divine, and an inspirational guide for integrating poetry into spiritual practice, Poetry as Spiritual Practice will become a cherished companion.

About the Author

Robert McDowell's poems, stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in hundreds of magazines and anthologies here and abroad, including Best American Poetry, Poetry, The New Criterion, Sewanee Review, and The Hudson Review. He has taught at Bennington College, the University of Southern Indiana, and UC Santa Cruz; and at the Taos Writers' Conference, among many writers' conferences; and he was founding publisher/editor of Story Line Press. In addition, he coaches businesses in improving spiritual awareness, communication, writing, and presentation skills. His Web site is www.robertmcdowell.net.

Table of Contents

Introduction

ONE
The Shape of Practice, the Mystery of Poetry

1. Clearing Obstacles: Joyful Rituals of Poetry as Practice
2. Nursery Rhymes, Chants, and Hymns: Early Encounters with Poetry as Practice
3. The Shape of Practice: Waking Up Through Poetry

TWO
Building Blocks

4. Words, Metaphor, Simile
5. Alliteration and Assonance
6. Rhyme and Meter
7. Stanza

THREE
Forms for Practice

8. Haiku: Perfection of a Seed
9. Sonnet: Be Nimble, Be Quick
10. Villanelle: The Power of Echo
11. Sestina: Repetition in Practice
12. Limerick and Epigram: Playful and Laughing
13. Ghazal: Attention and Wonder
14. Pantoum: Questing, Devotion, Gratitude
15. Prose Poem: Practice in Someone Else's Skin

FOUR
Three Genres for Practice

16. Elegy: Celebration and Letting Go
17. Free Verse: Diligent Individuality
18. Story Poems: Practicing Deep Delight

In Closing
Poems Included as Illustrations Within Chapters
Acknowledgments
Permissions

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Rae61999, July 22, 2008 (view all comments by Rae61999)
Often people will consider reading a book of devotions or the Bible as a worthy daily practice. Others write in journals to express thoughts. The idea of using the discipline of daily poetry writing could inspire many productive moments in one's quest for spiritual enlightenment.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 20 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416566502
Author:
McDowell, Robert
Publisher:
Free Press
Subject:
Composition & Creative Writing - General
Subject:
General
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Composition & Creative Writing
Subject:
Religion and poetry
Subject:
Regional, Ethnic, Genre, Specific Subject
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20080731
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
rough front
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
7.5 x 5.25 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » Criticism and Discussion
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Poetry Criticism
Reference » Writing » Poetry
Religion » Spirituality » General

Poetry as Spiritual Practice: Reading, Writing, and Using Poetry in Your Daily Rituals, Aspirations, and Intentions Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 288 pages Free Press - English 9781416566502 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Reading this lovely guide awakens in you a deeper appreciation for poetry and messages of the Spirit. It communicates a poet's soul — and helps you articulate that deep place of truth for yourself."
"Review" by , "At the same time that Robert McDowell is teaching us to approach the reading and writing of poems as acts of prayer in his brilliantly insightful book, Poetry as Spiritual Practice, he is quietly doing another astonishing thing: creating community. McDowell's exercises at the end of each chapter liberate poetry from a solitary contemplative practice to a collective celebration of the sacred. I will share this book with everyone I love." Mirabai Starr, author of new translations of Dark Night of the Soul by John of the Cross and The Interior Castle and The Book of My Life by Teresa of Ávila
"Synopsis" by , "[When we read and write poetry,] it is as if a long-settled cloud in our mind suddenly dissipates, and we are divine once again." — from the Introduction

Poetry is the language of devotion in prayer, chant, and song. Reading and writing poetry creates clarity, deepens and expands spiritual inquiry, and cultivates wisdom, compassion, self-confidence, patience, and love. In author Robert McDowell's words, poetry makes you into a tuning fork of the Divine.

But poetry has disappeared over the centuries from religious ceremonies, academic curricula, and public discourse. In Poetry as Spiritual Practice, the first inspirational and instructional guide to combine poetry and spirituality, McDowell restores poetry as the natural language of spiritual practice and invites you to recognize poetry as "the pure sound and shape of your spirit."

Vividly illustrated with a wide range of poems from all historical eras and poetic traditions, numerous religions and faiths, and McDowell's own and his students' work, Poetry as Spiritual Practice will reintroduce you to the unique pleasure of verse. And meditations throughout will allow you to integrate reading and writing poetry into your spiritual journeys and daily life.

Since many of us have long forgotten, or never learned, the mechanics and terminology of poetry — trochaic feet and tropes trip us up; we can't tell a villanelle from its shorter cousin, rondeau; and a terza rima may as well be a tanka — this is also an instructional handbook on reading and writing poetry. An engaging guide through the landscape of world poetry, McDowell argues along the way for the many practical benefits of poetic literacy.

Making poetry an essential part of daily rituals, aspirations, and intentions will put you on the path to greater meaning, growth, and peace in your life. At once an engaging technical primer, a profound meditation on the relationship between poetry and the Divine, and an inspirational guide for integrating poetry into spiritual practice, Poetry as Spiritual Practice will become a cherished companion.

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