Saint Sinatra and Other Poems

By Hannan, Maryanne | Anglican Theological Review, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

Saint Sinatra and Other Poems


Hannan, Maryanne, Anglican Theological Review


Saint Sinatra and Other Poems. By Angela Alaimo O'Donnell. Cincinnati, Ohio: Word Press, 2011. 100 pp. $19.00 (paper).

In a recent review of William A. Dyrness s Poetic Theology: God and the Poetics of Everyday Life in the ATR's Winter 2012 issue, the reviewer wrote: "Different forms of theohgia poetica take seriously the idea that the symbolic spaces created by various forms of cultural expression reflect the unspoken and sometimes unspeakable longings in which lie the hidden collective and individual symbols for people's lives." Angela Alaimo O'Donnell's Saint Sinatra and Other Poems fully inhabits this space. O'Donnell takes at face value the Catholic doctrine of communio sanctorum, the communion of saints, which includes both holy persons, living and dead, and holy things, signs and symbols of the divine. Her worldview is fully incarnational; the poems question sacred-profane dichotomies. The sonnet "St. Vincent" uses, as epigram, a quote from Van Gogh's letters, "The best way to love God is to love many things" (p. 60). Poetry itself can be holy: "And every poem speaks a sacrament, / blood of blessing, bread of the word" ("St. Seamus," p. 48).

We, in the persons of Thomas Merton and Czeslaw Milosz, are "hungry for food that feeds / holy the imperishable heart" ("The Conversation," p. 41). Using distinctive quotations from both men as a framework to their conversation, this poem embodies deep respect for individual strivings without undue regard for traditional notions. That respect is the energy behind the entire collection: "He made me Milosz, you Merton, / and neither of us home / and sent on a pilgrimage to find it" (p. 43).

O'Donnell entertains cultural icons of every sort: the eponymous Sinatra, Springsteen's saxophonist, artists Van Gogh, J. M. W. Turner, Marge Crisp, John Collier, Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville. These figures play so familiarly in the landscape of the poems that boundaries collapse: after hearing Clarence Clemons's sax solo, "your story our own, / being and blood, player and played . . . god-longing / heard and sung" ("St. Clarence," p. 51). Living or dead, these people are hers.

If Sinatra is the "Sicilian Saint of Song" ("Saint Sinatra," p. 13), Catherine of Siena is "St. Kate." The narrator addresses God directly, using bits of Catherines biography to charge: "All she wanted was You. / What she got was / Every One" ("St. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Saint Sinatra and Other Poems
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.