Poetry is the creative ordering of words to bring forth the fruits of the human heart and intellect. The poet is called to lose himself, so to speak, in listening to inspiration, a power that is classically understood to be beyond him. Similarly, the farmer is called to lose himself in the rhythms of the land he cares for, emptying himself, heart and mind, into the land.
This is poetry that focuses its readers on the true, good, and beautiful. Here, we are reminded that Christ took on flesh like ours, that he was born as we are, that he died as we will.
Benjamin Myers reviews Spoon River America: Edgar Lee Masters and the Myth of the American Small Town by Jason Stacy. Stacey explores the changing and contested myth of the midwestern small town, particularly in relation to Masters’s famous Spoon River Anthology. In Spoon River and its echoes throughout literary and popular culture, innocence struggles with cynicism, tradition with modernity, and a persistent populism with a perpetual elite.
Daniel Ritchie explores how the #MeToo movement affects our reading of Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock. In turn, this comedy with a sad ending offers us a sense of balance for today's sexual politics.
Rural Rebellion by Ross Benes, examines the changing politics of rural Nebraska from the perspective of a native son living in Brooklyn. Nebraska is a cycle of poems by Kwame Dawes, a Ghanaian-born poet teaching at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Both address the identity crisis of our time and call us to remember the real names of things.
Enjoying the Bible is a book about beholding the deep riches of beauty in Scripture and allowing its literary elements to shape our humanity. A literary approach to Scripture teaches our students how to love rather than merely what to think.
In “American Divine,” it would seem that the pursuit is not so much a pursuit of divinity but rather the experience of it—the awe, which in this instance is private and individualistic, potentially addictive, and more an expression of personal epiphanies than a community-shared theology.