When Poets Pray

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More About This Title When Poets Pray


Two dozen select prayer poems to learn from and live with

Poetry and prayer are closely related. We often look to poets to give language to our deepest hopes, fears, losses—and prayers. Poets slow us down. They teach us to stop and go in before we go on. They play at the edges of mystery, holding a tension between line and sentence, between sense and reason, between the transcendent and the deeply, comfortingly familiar. 

When Poets Pray contains thoughtful meditations by Marilyn McEntyre on choice poems/prayers and poems about prayer. Her beautifully written reflections are contemplative exercises, not scholarly analyses, meant more as invitation than instruc¬tion. Here McEntyre shares gifts that she herself has received from poets who pray, or who reflect on prayer, believing that they have other gifts to offer readers seeking spiritual compan¬ionship along our pilgrim way. 


Hildegard of Bingen 
Lucille Clifton 
Walter Chalmers Smith 
Robert Frost 
Wendell Berry 
Joy Harjo 
John Donne 
Gerard Manley Hopkins 
Marilyn McEntyre 
George Herbert
Thomas Merton 
Denise Levertov 
Scott Cairns 
Mary Oliver 
Marin Sorescu 
T. S. Eliot 
Richard Wilbur 
Francisco X. Alarcon 
Anna Kamienska 
Michael Chitwood 
Psalm 139:1-12


Marilyn McEntyre is the award-winning author of several books on language and faith, including What's in a Phrase? Pausing Where Scripture Gives You Pause (winner of a Christianity Today 2015 book award in spirituality); Make a List: How a Simple Practice Can Change Our Lives and Open Our Hearts; Word by Word: A Daily Spiritual Practice; and Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies.