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Poems Of The Kingdom
by Eugene H. Peterson
Publisher:Canterbury Press imprint of Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
Eugene H. Peterson is of course the person behind The Message Bible. He is also author of a number of good books on pastoral ministry and theology, so this little book of his personal religious poetry is well worth a look at, as much for his introduction—which though short nevertheless raises some very interesting points on the Bible as poetry, on the concept of metaphor, on poetry and it's use and presence and most of all on language and imagination in a pastors life—as for anything else.
The 70 poems themselves are all short, and are divided into three categories based around The Beautitudes, The Kingdom of God in the Everyday, and finally, Grace and Mystery throughout the times and seasons of life.
The majority of them begin with the scripture that inspired them, and the poems themselves are written, as perhaps one would expect, in a very modern tone, some with modern colliquialisms that might almost jar. After all, not often one expects references to 'Green eggs and ham' in a poem entitled 'Yes and Amen and Jesus' and yet it fits.
Some are easy to understand and grasp on first reading, while others though take more time, and require numerous readings, and may involve stopping and reflecting on the Bible passage more to see the correlation and point and really understand the direction the poet is going. And that is another reason to read these poems—because poetry shouldn't always be easy, and the Bible should always make us think...
Certainly worth a look at for those that like Peterson's work.
Reviewer: Melanie Carroll (30/07/14)