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The Ordering of Love

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  325 ratings  ·  33 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
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 15th 2005 by Shaw Books
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  • The Ordering of Love by Madeleine L'Engle
    The Ordering of Love
    Release date: Feb 11, 2020
    From the beloved author of A Wrinkle in Time comes the definitive edition of her inspirational and timeless poetry.
    In this specially packaged edition

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 30 copies available, 1590 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 11 - Feb 10, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 4.23  · 
    Rating details
     ·  325 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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    Raquel Evans
    Sep 16, 2019 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: poetry
    I have a difficult relationship with poetry, and while there were a few poems (or more like, a few lines) in here that I really liked, I don't feel like wading through all the parts that feel generic in order to find a few more lines I like. Maybe I'll feel more inspired to try another time...
    Logophile (Heather)

    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
    Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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.

    Barry Davis
    Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    An extraordinary collection of both poems and free verse around diverse topics, including Faith, Easter, the Cross, the loss of her husband, motherhood, etc.
    The collections include:
    From Lines Scribbled on an Envelope(1969)
    -Abraham’s Child, The Promise, Testament, People in Glass Houses, Moses, Act II Scene ii, Tree at Christmas,
    Within This Strange and Quickened Dust

    The Irrational Season (1977)
    -Who Shoved Me into the Night?, How Very Odd It Seems O Lord, Love Letter Addressed To

    The Weather of
    Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: read-in-2017, poetry
    I love poetry and there are many poems within this collection which I adore, but there are also so many which were so religious or Biblical that I almost felt like the book should be labeled as religious material.
    John Adams
    Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: poetry
    Beautiful, intelligent poems, retelling Bible stories from different perspectives and examining the nature of love and the divine. The sonnets, including a sequence from the perspective of a new widow, are standouts.
    Tricia Dietz
    May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Beautiful, real, touching and sometimes hysterical poems, still on my shelf with very worn pages.
    Angela Oneal
    This was not quite what I expected, although the poems are solid and well-written. Worth a selective read, though.
    Elizabeth Scott
    I love her- she is a huge influence on my work, but poetry is not her best suit. Occasional flashes of beauty.
    Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    10 stars! More than excellent!
    Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    These poems are so well written and touch on raw emotion. While spiritual in nature, they go beyond just some poetic rendering of bible stories. They are honest and lovely.
    Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Such a lovely collection. Joins Wendell Barry on my nightstand collection of poems to inspire dreams and engage my meditative energy.
    Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The Ordering of Love has a permanent place on my nightstand.
    Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: poetry
    L'Engle's poems open my eyes to the personality behind the people of the Bible; through her pen, they transform from 2D characters into real-life, flesh and blood men and women. She crafts such beautiful, lyrical prayers to God.
    May 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Donna Merritt
    Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it
    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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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 ...more
    Miss Clark
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Jun 26, 2011 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
    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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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.
    Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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!
    David Weller
    Her writing skills are inspiring to this author. However, most of her poems in this book aren't very affecting, nor are they memorable.
    Jess Lilja
    Nov 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    while her adult fiction and poetry is not as moving as her young adult fiction, i love this poetry collection.
    Apr 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    These poems are beautiful, spiritual, and sincerely religious without being preachy or, even worse, self-consciously unorthodox. This little volume is a treasure.
    Meredith Ellen
    Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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!
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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 ...more
    “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…