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Burning Bright: An Anthology

By Patricia Hampl
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Book Details
  • Author: Patricia Hampl
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • Published: 1995-11-07
  • Edition: 1
O night, you are dark because
you do not know Him.
O day, go and learn from Him
what it means to shine.
This extraordinary daybook of sacred poetry is for everyone, not only readers secure in their faith and those in search of it. It is a radiant, inspiring companion that invites us all to step, like Emily Dickinson, "upon the North to see this Curious Friend."
From the three great monotheistic religions--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--Patricia Hampl has gathered more than a hundred poems of faith, of spiritual longing, of devout disbelief. And in the spirit of Western prayer cycles she has ordered them according to the time of day: Morning, Noon, and Night.
Burning Bright includes poems by Francis of Assisi, Yehuda Amichai, William Blake, Rumi, Louise Erdrich, Rainer Maria Rilke, Maria Tsvetaeva, Sylvia Plath, Wallace Stevens, Nelly Sachs, Gharib Nawaz, Allen Ginsberg, and fifty-five others. Not only the deeply felt works of identifiably religious poets are included, but the passionate poems of poets driven by a yearning for the sacred.
In a broad reach over time and cultures, this collection moves into the very heart of faith and uncertainty. It attempts, Hampl says, "to make the day holy--or at least bearable," and we are left with the buoyancy that Yehuda Amichai describes in the last lines of the book's final poem:
Love is not the last room: there are others
after it, the whole length of the corridor
that has no end