Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation/Weeknights at the Cathedral

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation/Weeknights at the Cathedral

Article excerpt

Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation. By Marjorie Maddox. Cincinnati, Ohio: WordTech Communications, 2004. 116 pp. $17.00 (paper).

Weeknights at the Cathedral. By Marjorie Maddox. Cincinnati, Ohio: WordTech Communications, 2006. 108 pp. $17.00 (paper).

Protestant reformer Martin Luther found the prolix explanations of transubstantiation decidedly complicated and unnecessary. Still, he never gave up on the idea that the Lord was present in the Eucharist, though this presence remained slightly, if not wholly, mysterious. For Marjorie Maddox, this ancient concept finds its expression in a poetry of personal experience in these two new works. Here the movement of organs, the exchange of fluids and marriage vows, baseball, angels on Ferris wheels and in department stores, experiences of loss and reclamation of life all intersect a line between the profane and the holy. Ultimately, though, all of them are absorbed into the holy.

Perhaps Maddox's own familial losses (her father's undergoing a heart transplant) have primed her for the part of raconteur and medical expositor. In the multi-part poem "Body Parts," Maddox demonstrates a keen eye for descriptive writing, a poem which ought to find its way into every medical school textbook in the country. Her pinpoint execution, the dance between the purely informational and emotional, sheds new light on old bones. And these are the kind of bones she picks, the kind she buries, the kind she raises from the dead just to bury again, the kind that give us a glimpse into the social wares that make up our day-to-day existence.

Taken together, both books claim a strong sense of place. …

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