The World's Great Religious Poetry

The World's Great Religious Poetry

The World's Great Religious Poetry

The World's Great Religious Poetry

Excerpt

The most obvious facts about this collection of poetry are that it is not all great and that it makes strange combinations and sequences. It ranges from the Psalms of David and the Hymn of Cleanthes to the latest free verse. The great hymns that are translated from the Latin and the most radical of the twentieth century verse are alike only in that they show human feeling about the concept that is the foundation of all religion. Many poems that are far from being great belong here because they are significant.

There are some persons who say that our age has no religion; others say it is more sincerely religious than any of the great ages of faith that are gone. The most intelligent thought of the present bases the authority of religion, not upon revelation, but upon the nature of man. Man's hunger for God is as fundamental and legitimate as his hunger for food and love. Our age may be lost as to what it should believe, but we were never so sure that we must and do believe. The good swimmer knows best how to trust the water; the best life is most reliant upon what some call the integrity of the Universe and one of the greatest poets called the Everlasting Arms.

The great poets have always spoken with authority. In them has the Word been made flesh. Now a war-weary world in search of faith turns to them.

The Bible is an anthology of Hebrew literature--the Great Anthology. If no future poets ever rise to so great a height of constructive imagination as those of the classic Hebrew period it will always remain the Bible of the race. A cursory view of other religious poetry shows little that is not based upon the biblical poetry, but the spiritual assets of mankind have never been gathered together that we may see what they are. This book is a step in that direction.

Its purpose is to furnish delightful reading, to give comfort . . .

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