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Poetry As Prayer: The Hound of Heaven (Poetry as Prayer Series) [Paperback]

By Robert G. Waldron (Author) & Francis Thompson (Author)
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Item Number 138019  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   139
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.51" Width: 5.53" Height: 0.41"
Weight:   0.43 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2000
Publisher   Pauline Books & Media
ISBN  0819859141  
EAN  9780819859143  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Poetry As Prayer: The Hound of Heaven (Poetry as Prayer Series) by Robert G. Waldron

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4.3 stars: Dejection and Glory  Oct 31, 2000
This book will make one's respect for the achievement of "The Hound of Heaven" appreciably increase. We need not be ardent admirers of Francis Thompson to sympathize with the plight of this very modern figure, torn between addiction to laudanum and love of the Transcendent.

Waldron's book sets out to do four things: (a) Provide biographical information about the poet; (b) Introduce us to his most famous poem; (c) Explicate the text, open it up, provide comparisons to other works of literature, devotional and poetic; (d) Demonstrate how most good poetry can be used as material for prayer -- the striking and famous example to which Waldron alludes is Simone Weil's "lectio divina" with George Herbert's "Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back."

Waldron turns an indulgent eye to the aesthetic flaws of "The Hound of Heaven": among them, the archaisms, accented ed's, and overuse of syntactical inversion -- poets in Wordsworth's day would have been impatient with some of Thompson's prosodical traits! And some of the comparisons are adventurous. But we certainly cannot find fault with Waldron's thorough knowledge of his subject, and the evident joy with which he writes. "The Hound" is a grand metaphor which has inspired artists, writers, and inquirers into the mysteries of the Catholic faith; Waldron cites Dorothy Day, Eugene O'Neill, and the painter Ives Gammell. We might be surprised to learn that Oscar Wilde (see p. 48) had very generous things to say about Thompson's masterwork -- a surprise that is lessened when we consider the temperament of Wilde as poet in works such as "E Tenebris."

Waldron's book is teacherly without being disaffectingly didactic; it is informative and genial; it is an unhesitant apologia for poetry as a force for good, as a genitrix of hope, in even the most troubled of lives.

A proofreading note! In the sonnet found on pp 30-31 (section entitled "A Woman's Pity"), the sixth line is missing. "That to my deathless progeny of pain / You should be mother," etc.

A Great Read  Dec 30, 1999
Great book on a great subject. Looking for more like it!
An inspirational exploration of the "Hound of Heaven"  Jul 15, 1999
This book, actually now available from the publisher (Pauline Books & Media, Boston) is a wonderfully presented book, both aesthetically (size, paper quality and texture, interpretive artwork by Anthony Lobosco) and in content.

Waldron, whom I have heard speak on the subject of Poetry as Prayer, is well-grounded in the life and times of Francis Thompson and enthusiastic about his subject. Thus the HOUND OD HEAVEN comes alive for the reader and reaches deeply into one's spiritual resevoir for silence and prayer.


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