For as long as people have lived together in communities and built enduring cultures, they have sung and written about their relationship with the god or gods they believed in. In the words of the Irish writer Sean O’Faolain, “all good writing in the end is the writer’s argument with God.”
The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy gathers poems from a wide range of cultures and traditions and divides them into ten parts, each forming a resonant exploration of a specific and timeless spiritual question. Selections include the work of Dante, Dogen, Goethe, Hafez, Juan Ramon Jimenez, Kabir, Lalla, Li Po, Mirabai, Mary Oliver, Owl Woman, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Rumi, in addition to Blake, Dickinson, Donne, Hopkins, Stevens, Yeats, and other important English and American poets. Together these poems form both a celebration and a quest–a kind of pilgrim’s progress that embraces all the rich wisdom of East and West, ancient and modern, male and female, spirit and flesh.