Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Book Review: Faith, Hope, and Poetry by Malcolm Guite

Years ago I read Break Blow Burn by Camille Paglia, and I think it's taken about a decade to find a book like that, and even better. Malcolm Guite has the same strategy as Paglia: step through history reading excerpts from poems. But Guite's findings are more meaningful to me (and I don't have to put up with things like Paglia pushing Revenge of the Sith as an incredible artistic vision). Also, Guite introduced me to poets I never heard of but who nonetheless spoke to me as if they were living around the corner from me. John Davies is the best surprise, who may eventually become one of my favorite poets. Of course, the Coleridge chapter is fantastic and somehow as illuminating as Guite's full-length work on the Rime. Finally, Guite brings it into the present day by bringing a depth to Seamus Heaney I never knew, and introducing me to Geoffrey Hill's Lachrimae Amantis, a poem that immediately sank deep into my heart. So, yeah, this is a perfect book for the Christian who wants to know more about poetry.

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