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The Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L'Engle
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The Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L'Engle

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  273 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Praise for The Ordering of Love
By Madeleine L’Engle

“In a brilliant marriage of myth and manner, histories sacred and profane, prayers of petition and of praise, these poems both articulate and illumine the trouble in the gap in which we live–the gap between human affections and Divine Love. L’Engle is unfailing in her willingness to see through–not around–human suffering,
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 15th 2005 by Shaw Books
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Logophile (Heather)
Apr 20, 2011 Logophile (Heather) rated it it was amazing

This book has a poem called The Pharoah's Cross which starts like this;

It would be easier to be an atheist; it is the simple way out.
But each time I turn toward that wide and welcoming door
it slams in my face, and I- like my forbears- Adam, Eve--
am left outside the garden of reason and limited, chill science
and the arguments of intellect.
Who is this wild cherubim who whirls the flaming sword
'twixt the door to the house of atheism and me?

Sometime in the groping dark of my not knowing
I am exhauste
May 25, 2011 Jes rated it it was ok
It's actually been a long time since I've read a book of poetry, which I find ironic, since I used to write a lot of it and therefore was drawn to reading it.

I don't really know what I was expecting when I opened this book. But I suppose I thought more of the poems would be personal. What I mean by that is only that the majority of the poem collections out there seem to have a lot of 1st person narrative feel to them. More often than not, I don't really like the "blander" dry stuff that's talkin
Donna Merritt
I loved L'Engle's fiction as a child and when I recently discovered that she had also written poetry, I jumped at the chance to read this complete volume of her work. The first section, Lines Scribbled on an Envelope, started out promising. Her wit and way of looking at things differently were evident in poems such as "The Mermaid" and "The Dragon." Maybe it's because she was having fun incorporating fantasy and play into those that made me like them so much.

Most of the book contained religious
Dec 27, 2014 Jenny rated it really liked it
This book of poetry is like L'Engle's fiction: filled with life, love, doubt, fear, grace, mercy, forgiveness, natural questioning, and answers. I enjoyed most of the poems but especially those from the previously published A Cry Like a Bell. This book is a collection of L'Engle's poetry from her other books, and it was edited by her friend and fellow writer. It shows L'Engle's passion and her friend's shared passions for life, love, writing, and L'Engle's gift itself. The collection is put toge ...more
Miss Clark
Apr 23, 2011 Miss Clark rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 07, 2011 Bethany rated it it was amazing
I read Madeleine L'Engle once in junior high and thought she was ok.
I am not a big fan of poetry.

But I kept reading blogs that referred to her writing, so I thought the least I could do was try something short and sweet.

And she changed my life.

Madeleine's style is deep and theological, yet short and sweet. Most of the items in this book were sonnets, which are contained to a formulaic length. She packs a punch in few words, and leaves you pondering sentence fragments for hours to come.

And mo
Jun 26, 2011 Esther rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious, poetry
I was introduced to Madeleine L'Engle through Many Waters , by a church member who wanted to show me that the Bible should be celebrated as a story. Through the twins Sandy and Dennys, I was transported back in time to the days of Noah and the seraphim and nephilim. Possibility exploded for me through that read: I was given permission to play, to contemplate Bible characters just as I loved to do with my usual literary favorites.

This read was as satisfying for the same reason. L'Engle reimagine
Oct 08, 2012 Robin rated it really liked it
By Madeleine L'Engle,


(Because she had angered the gods, Medusa was the only one of the Gorgons who was not immortal.)

I, of all the Gorgons, I alone must die.
Since death must come to me I carry death
At all times in my face, my bitter eye,
If every breath I draw is mortal breath
Leading irrevocably to my end
I'll give stone death to all who see my face,
My span of life resentfully will spend
Denying life: revenge for my disgrace.
I, who should be immortal, have been shamed,
But cloak my shame in
To a Long-Loved Love


Words must be said, and silences be kept,
Yet, that word better left unheard, unspoken,
Like that unsaid, can wound. O Love, I’ve wept
From words, have thought my heart was broken
From the looked-for word unuttered. Where
Silence should speak loud, we speak instead.
Where words of love would heal we do not dare
To voice them: From sound and silence both have fled.
Yet love grows through those quiet deepening hours
When silence fills the empty boundless spaces
Twixt flesh and flesh.
Jan 24, 2011 Kerith rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
The beauty of this book lies in the heretofore unpublished poems in the back. Otherwise this a collection of all her earlier poetry books, plus the poems from Irrational Season, all pulled together. It is a rich and varied feast and highly recommended for L'Engle fans, especially those who enjoy her Crosswicks books.

I miss this writer! Her death last year touched me more than any other author. Diving back into her poems was a great treat.
Beth Martin
Mar 19, 2014 Beth Martin rated it really liked it
I found the last two collections of poems to be the most enjoyable for me. My faves were the ones that were written from the perspective of various Biblical persons, specifically Mary. Her descriptions of birthing and comparing birth to death was quite interesting to me.
Nov 15, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those willing to wrestle
Shelves: poetry
Madeleine L'Engle has the courage and faith to wrestle with God on the tough questions. I admire her honesty in her emotions and thoughts. This collection gives you a glimpse into the soul of a great saint and will make you think.
Sarah Elizabeth
Jan 08, 2011 Sarah Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I think I'll leave this book on my bedside table for the rest of my life. L'Engle's poetry is so utterly personal, nonchalant. She wrote these for herself, to express the moments of her life. Such openness and thoughtfulness is so inspiring.
Sep 29, 2007 Elise rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of spirituality and poetry
I love Madeleine L'Engle's poetry in this book. It's an eclectic group of poems about topics ranging from the mundane to the miraculous--from her own family life to stories from the Bible. All is told in a fresh way. I'm sad she passed away earlier this month!
Apr 28, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
These poems are beautiful, spiritual, and sincerely religious without being preachy or, even worse, self-consciously unorthodox. This little volume is a treasure.
David Weller
Sep 03, 2014 David Weller rated it liked it
Her writing skills are inspiring to this author. However, most of her poems in this book aren't very affecting, nor are they memorable.
Melissa Yosua-Davis
Apr 26, 2013 Melissa Yosua-Davis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, poetry
Madeleine L'Engle is one of my favorite authors. Her books are beautifully written, as are her poems.
Joy Matteson
May 31, 2015 Joy Matteson rated it it was amazing
Incredibly lovely poetry, even for those who don't read it often. Her poetry makes you want to eat her words with a spoon, slowly savoring.

I think I need to buy.
Jess Lilja
Nov 06, 2007 Jess Lilja rated it really liked it
while her adult fiction and poetry is not as moving as her young adult fiction, i love this poetry collection.
Meredith Ellen
Aug 07, 2013 Meredith Ellen rated it it was amazing
Madeleine's poetry makes me weep with joy! I cannot help but be lead into worship as I read her words about salvation and God's reckless love!
Karen Hugo
Karen Hugo rated it it was amazing
Apr 04, 2013
Jen Herrmann
Jen Herrmann rated it really liked it
May 13, 2015
Kris Anne
Kris Anne rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2008
Anna-Marie rated it really liked it
Jun 26, 2012
Robin Shreeves
Robin Shreeves rated it it was amazing
May 02, 2010
grey1066 rated it it was amazing
Apr 22, 2015
Tracy Willburn
Tracy Willburn rated it liked it
Aug 12, 2014
Sara rated it really liked it
Sep 14, 2013
Gerlinda rated it really liked it
Sep 30, 2012
Michelle Brock
Michelle Brock rated it it was amazing
Mar 10, 2015
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Madeleine L'Engle was an American writer best known for her Young Adult fiction, particularly the Newbery Medal-winning A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters. Her works reflect her strong interest in modern science: tesseracts, for example, are featured prominently in A Wrinkle in Time, mitochondrial DNA in A Wind in the Door, organ regener ...more
More about Madeleine L'Engle...

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“How long your closet held a whiff of you,
Long after hangers hung austere and bare.
I would walk in and suddenly the true
Sharp sweet sweat scent controlled the air
And life was in that small still living breath.
Where are you? since so much of you is here,
Your unique odour quite ignoring death.
My hands reach out to touch, to hold what's dear
And vital in my longing empty arms.
But other clothes fill up the space, your space,
And scent on scent send out strange false alarms.
Not of your odour there is not a trace.
But something unexpected still breaks through
The goneness to the presentness of you.”
“We cannot always cry at the right time
and who is to say which time is right?”
More quotes…