This is my favorite of all the published editions of these poems. Barry Moser's illustrations are the perfect pairing for the simplicity and eloquenceThis is my favorite of all the published editions of these poems. Barry Moser's illustrations are the perfect pairing for the simplicity and eloquence of the words. Rumor Godden did the translation from the French while at an Abbey in France where the poet lived.
Godden herself was a fascinating character and wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning book In this House of Brede (probably having done her research at the time of the translation of these poems). Born in 1907 she died in 1998. In 1995, a somewhat cranky Godden grudgingly gave my husband permission to set the poems to music when he was working on his Masters. As a Childrens Librarian,I had purchased the book because of the starred review in SLJ. I had been deeply touched by the depth of the poems and shared them with him. Disarming in their simplicity, they demonstrate the author's clear understanding of human nature when read through the lens of adult experience. Here is an example.
Prayer of the Ox
Dear God, give me time. Men are always so driven! Make them understand that I can never hurry. Give me time to eat. Give me time to plod. Give me time to sleep. Give me time to think.
The book takes us along on an expedition down the Aragyaya with Rev. Archibald McIntyre who hopes to recruit missionaries to work with the various IndThe book takes us along on an expedition down the Aragyaya with Rev. Archibald McIntyre who hopes to recruit missionaries to work with the various Indian tribes of the region. Most of his experience is with the Caraja, the Tapirape and the Kayapo, but the wonderful part of the book is that it captures the beliefs about the Indians from the time just after Roosevelt's visit and subsequent book.
McIntyre seems to genuinely care for the Indians but still in all thinks that they need to be rescued from their ways. Interestingly he encounters a number of Jesuits --- whom he considers to be as lost as those poor tribes who have never heard the gospel!...more
The most recent of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series does not disappoint. Kinney certainly has a clear understanding of the adolescent mind! It is funnyThe most recent of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series does not disappoint. Kinney certainly has a clear understanding of the adolescent mind! It is funny and even an adult can enjoy it....more
Extremely gratifying to find an old reformer who has come to terms with the fact that the current reform movement is destroying American Public EducatExtremely gratifying to find an old reformer who has come to terms with the fact that the current reform movement is destroying American Public Education. Extremely well documented "research based" to throw that back into the face of the reformers...page after page....it explains why what we are doing is so wrong and what might be different....more
A remarkable account which neither demonizes or glorifies the Japanese who were forced into intermnet camps during WWII.
It is the stark narrative in tA remarkable account which neither demonizes or glorifies the Japanese who were forced into intermnet camps during WWII.
It is the stark narrative in the letters exchanged by the San Diego Children's Librarian, Clara Breed, and her children who are now inhabitants of horse stalls and subjected to dehumanizing conditions that speak with such clarity about the injustice of the system.
It is especially important for young students of American History to learn that we are not heros --- we never have been -- we are just human beings some of whom are deeply honorable, some of whom are thugs and theives.
We are all trapped by the times in which we live, even Eleanor Roosevelt. In the weeks following Dec. 7th she wrote in her daily newspaper column - My Day -- "if we can not meet the challenge of fairness to our citizens of every nationality, of really believing in the Bill of Rights and making it a reality for all loyal American citizens, regardless of race, creed or color; if we can not keep checkk anti-Semitism, nti-racial feelings as well as anti-religious feelings, then we shall have removed from the world, the one real hope for the future on which all humanity must now rely."
Still Mrs. Roosevelt was forced to accept the internment, just as Clara had to and all those countless Japanese Americans.
The question this mmakes me ask is --- simply when great social injustices such as war --- occur -- is there anything that the majority of people who just find themselves caught up in these surges of violence can do to "by opposing end them?"
This is a book that should be in every library and used by every American history teacher....more
I believe there may have been a time when the world changed at a much slower pace -- when information was something that could be consumed slowly ---I believe there may have been a time when the world changed at a much slower pace -- when information was something that could be consumed slowly --- savored --- mulled over ---(maybe in the middle ages) but now the world changes in exponential ways and it is helpful to have someone of Smith's stature offer insight into how our post modern world organizes data.
His approach is very mid-century in its reliance on analytical thought, but at the same time he doesn't deny the mystical glimpses of a world unseen.
What is surprising is that in our media culture which suggests that faith is a critical ingredient in all decisions in our culture --- Smith suggests quite rightly that we live in an age of disbelief.....where people identify as faithful (and Smith might as to what)!
He covers the isms of our time from consumer to relative in a way that lets us think -- no encourages us to think more deeply --- Long live Huston Smith......more
Easily read, this book introduces us to the concept that to grow in spiritual realm means to accept imperfection --- no to celebrate it! Using storiesEasily read, this book introduces us to the concept that to grow in spiritual realm means to accept imperfection --- no to celebrate it! Using stories and quotes from some of the worlds greatest thinkers and mystics the authors share this concept encouraging each person to take steps to become their own.
The messaage is don't wait for someone to tell you who you are--begin this path and unfold the letter God wrote to you upon your birth!...more
If you can get past the initial assumptions like-- "If I cannot live with myself there must be two of me" nonesense --- there is much worthy of thoughtIf you can get past the initial assumptions like-- "If I cannot live with myself there must be two of me" nonesense --- there is much worthy of thought --- OH dear there I go thinking and according to Tolle the mind is not my friend! He suggests that the mind uses us for its own purposes rather than our using it to analyze -- in fact part of his formula is not to overthink things! I personally am glad that not everyone buys this idea! A little thought goes a long way to help us see through the garbage we are being sold over the airwaves!
A Hundred years from now people will pick this up and wonder what it was that we saw worthy of spending hours with Oprah logged-on discussing and listening to others. Still the basic concept -- that we must be present to appreciate all that is merits our full attention. As he points out it is the message of many of the worlds great religions.
His concept that pain is behind all the hatred, guilt, anger, depression,(dare I say evil) and all negitive feelings resonated with me. Jesus says it by saying that we can live out of two things --- fear or love. By suggesting that we live in the now --- accept the present and act on it --- he has a truly empowering thought.
His statement "Because we live in such a mind-dominated culture, most modern art, architecture, music, and literature are devoid of beauty, of inner essence, with very few exceptions." seems a good explanation to me of why so much modern art is so repulsive!
Read it so you will know what everyone is talking about!!
As long as we read everything critically---it is all to the good. ...more
In 1989 I did storytelling at an regional event in PA. The keynote presenter was a Serminary professor Leonard Sweet. What he said resonated deeply wiIn 1989 I did storytelling at an regional event in PA. The keynote presenter was a Serminary professor Leonard Sweet. What he said resonated deeply with me...an over-simplification was that we no longer live in an either/or world. We live in an AND world. He spoke about paradox and the nature of truth in ways I had not been exposed to and I understood for the first time, why I was uncomfortable with the very conservative Christians who believed that they heard the voice of Jesus in everything in their lives (even the selection of drapes for their living rooms) and the agnostics who could not believe in anything.
Since that time I have continued to stand in the middle and watch the church rend itself - hemorrhaging members who fled to giant mega churches.
Well now along comes Brian McLaren -- the founder of one such church for whom I have a great deal of respect. His book is one very deeply thought out declaration of faith based on this important notion that we--none of us---hold a corner on the truth.
It is a compelling piece of writing that brings to understandable terms some of the critical issues of modern Christianity....more
If you appreciate poetry this is well worth the investment. Marion paints with words what an artist sees. Dawns the color of Heron's eggs Lilies the cIf you appreciate poetry this is well worth the investment. Marion paints with words what an artist sees. Dawns the color of Heron's eggs Lilies the color of flame....you will read and re-read these gentle inspiring poems savoring them like you would time spent admiring a crips spring day. ...more
No need to review this book. It is an icon of western culture. In my family, it was read aloud every year the week before Christmas until I left home.No need to review this book. It is an icon of western culture. In my family, it was read aloud every year the week before Christmas until I left home.
It was probably the single most formative book in my life.
The most significant piece of the book....in my memory comes at the end of the 3rd Stave
"The chimes were ringing the three quarters past eleven at the moment. "Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask," said Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit's robe, "but I see something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw?" "It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it," was the Spirit's sorrowful reply. "Look here."
From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children, wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.
"O Man! look here! Look, look, down here!" exclaimed the Ghost.
They were a boy and girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds....
Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.
"Spirit! are they yours?" Scrooge could say no more. "They are Man's" said the Spirit, looking down upon them. "This boy is IGNORANCE. This girl is WANT. Beware of them both, and all their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.
"Have they no refuge or resource?" Cried Scrooge. "Are there no prisons?" said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. "Are there no workshouses?"
The spirit then disappears and Scrooge is left to the last spirit.
This image of ignorance and want have shaped my belief system. They have made me less ready to blame individuals for their circumstances and ready to look at ways we can all help each other in this life. This scene foreshadows the writing on Scrooges tombstone -- can it be erased?
Dickens resoundingly says yes. It is not too late for Scrooge. It is not too late for humankind-- we can erase that which will lead to our Doom....more
While my daughter was in the hospital with pneumonia, I had a recliner moved into her room. I refused to leave her alone in the hospital. I simply didWhile my daughter was in the hospital with pneumonia, I had a recliner moved into her room. I refused to leave her alone in the hospital. I simply didn't trust anyone to have her interests at heart in the way I did.
Between cuppings and as she drifted in and out of sleep, I read and was nourished by Dakota, Norris' first book.
I associate Norris' books with traumatic times in my life with my daughter. Her second, The Cloister walk, came as she was having a life crisis during her first year in college.
With my husband working on his PhD. and consumed with his stuff, I was feeling alone and pretty worn down....at a spiritual low. Her focus on the monastic traditions of reflection, peace, presence, and metaphor ministered to me in the deepest dark. ...more