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Christian Poetry Library
 
Christian Poetry Library
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"Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn." — Thomas Gray.

Etching into our hearts ineradicable thoughts on God, a relationship with Him and life's struggles, using stunning turn of phrase and captivating metaphoric language, John Donne, George Herbert and Henry Vaughan carry us to new realms with their metaphysical poetry so characteristic of the 17th century. John Newton, John Milton, William Cowper, Isaac Watts, Ralph Erskine, Edward Taylor and Michael Wigglesmith in breathtaking verse, lift us higher! The women poets, St. Teresa of Lisieux, Anne Bradstreet, and Frances Havergal, no less proficient, truly add that extra feminine perspective to religious poetic expression!

 

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Divine Poems by John Donne

A masterly mix of the metaphysical and mysterious! Profound theology with appealing allegory! Donne’s language rings with the authority of a living voice! Contrasting the imperfectly circular concept of human existence with the perfect and yet ever changing one of God’s love Donne deals with birth, death, resurrection and judgment, swinging between exhilarating ecstasy and acute despair. You can almost visualize the soul working out its salvation! His striking spontaneity and dazzling wordplay, interlaced with paradoxes and arresting imagery leave you gasping and craving for more! Sheer artistry!

"Style with substance!" — Martin Asiner

"Among the most profound and moving." — Shalom Freedman

" Metaphysical poet, par excellence!" — Amazon customer

 
Poems of Anne Bradstreet

Brimming with devotion to God and family, drawing heavily from her own experience and the context of her times, Anne Bradstreet was the first published woman poet in Britain and the United States in 1650! Her intelligent mind, intuitive strength and her invincible colonial spirit are showcased in her simple lyrical style. Elegant and genteel, Anne still tackled controversial subjects like religious and gender-based issues with elan! Unique and atypical of a woman of her day, Anne Bradstreet’s poetry will draw you into another world while warming your heart and stirring your spirit.

"Her poetry has been celebrated in both Englands." — Cotton Mather, a famous poet

"Early American Poetics from a Female Perspective!" — Kathryn J. Atwood

 
Poems of John Newton

Universal in appeal and with great depth of meaning, John Newton’s poems are a spiritual awakening. Newton’s checkered career swung from slave trader to hymn writer! Influenced greatly by William Cowper, Newton and he produced some of the world’s best loved hymns, the best known being Amazing Grace! Simplicity melded with complexity was the hallmark of John Newton’s poems. Will refresh your faith and revive your spirit.

"Great Book--Great Insights!" — Lionel C.C. Twain

"Excellent and enjoyable!" — Andrew Flanagan

"Magnificent!" — Judy I. Jones

 
Poems of Isaac Watts

Revitalizing and inspirational, Isaac Watts’ poems are pure theology. Having composed over 600 hymns, Watts is considered the Father of English hymnody! He always interwove the Gospel of Christ into every poem and Christ is central to them all. Loaded with thought-provoking verses these poems will enrich and elevate your heart in worship worthy of Christ. Gifted and enlightened Watts has powerfully penned exceptional expressions of devotion. A real blessing!

"The Greatest English Hymnist!" — doug p baker

 
Poems of William Cowper

Moving and touching, these 3 volumes display Cowper’s genuineness, directness and honesty. Overcoming periods of depression he produced some of the most astounding poetry, magnificent for the absolute variety of subjects tackled, the strong Christian element and the detailed descriptions given. Cowper infused new spirit to English Poetry, lifting it above the rhetoric and artificiality that had crept in. His genius lay in his singular gift of blending pathos and humor, love for animal life and nature. His poetry induces release and relief, as he effortlessly bridges the chasm between how the mind appreciates his poems and how the heart responds!

"The best modern poet!" — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Here in Cowper is everyman made vocal." — Ralph Lawrence

"Few hymns in the English language can evoke such response." — Nicholson

 
A Priest to the Temple by George Herbert

Abounding in joyful exclamations, Herbert finds words that precisely fit his thoughts. Contemporary of Donne, Herbert writes of the same mystic matters but with greater tranquility! George Herbert paints word pictures in this idyll, of a life apart from worldliness, politics and power. He effectively and persuasively details a life in a country parish as well as the cultural and political scenario of England during that period. An integrated community reflects an integrated self! Personal holiness and commitment to God sparkle in splendid clarity. Enchanting!

"Beautiful Religious Poetry!" — Rev. Dr. Charles Erlandson

"Great Devotional poetry!" — Amazon customer

 
The Temple by George Herbert

Unsullied allegory! Herbert compares the church to a temple that is characterized by church order, liturgy and ritual, laying out the entire movement from the outside to within the temple, from individual to collective participation in the Eucharist. Interspersed with precise declarations, metric versatility, "conceits" and imagery, Herbert reveals his own struggles in reconciling with God! This masterpiece reverberates with his intense attachment to the Bible and the church. His reaffirmation of the great Christian unities of faith and prayer will raise your personal praise of and devotion to God as never before.

"Masterpiece of scholarship!" — Michael D. James

"A must have!" — Tifepihany

"Authoritative!" — Amazon customer

 
Silex scintillans by Henry Vaughan.

Meaning "fiery stones" or "flashing flint" Vaughan presents the transformation of his own hard heart, by a relationship with Christ. Greatly influenced by Herbert, his own personal experience, and the use of Biblical interpretation, this is a must read for those desiring purity of heart. Gifted with consistency and word power, he seeks knowledge in devotional exercise. The sequences are redeeming, the process therapeutic. Studded with pithy phrases and instances of narrative flash, Vaughan is bracing and heartwarming.

"Vaughan’s deep, Biblically coded lamentations!" — Philip West

 
Silurist Vol II by Henry Vaughan

Named for his home area, the Silures, Vaughan’s passion and love for the Welsh mountains in this volume is conspicuous. Silurist is the wake-up call he received while recovering from an illness. An ardent follower of Herbert, Vaughan closely copied his writing style, yet maintaining his own individuality, with naturalness and tender emotion. With his rugged earnestness and richness of metaphor, intrinsic grace and beauty with a wholly loyal spirit laced with restraint, Vaughan is grand! For mystical vision in bold understatements, "I saw eternity the other night!" Vaughan is unparalleled!

"Clear intensity!" — Dr. Johnson

 
Selected poems of Ralph Erskine

Happy and vigorous, Ralph Erskine’s writings, in plain and easy verse, mined the ore rich in divine truth! He dwelt on the interrelationship of God with man, the law and the gospel, and drew a delicate balance between the contrasts! His poetry expressed theological discernment at its best! Erskine’s poetry will move you to unbridled praise! Highly useful.

"His poems are greatly to be esteemed — the favour of divine and experimental knowledge!" — Dr. Bradbury

"Will move you to worship the Triune God with doxological praise!" — Dr. Joel Beeke

 
Devotional Thoughts by John Donne

Through these 23 powerful devotions containing meditative expostulations and prayers Donne leads you through a veritable range of divergent poetic moods. From outright satire to sorrowful elegy, and from sacred devotion to lowly lust, Donne’s intense feelings, complex arguments and intricate weaves of softness and hard intellect are a true synthesis of the spiritual and the sensual! One of the three metaphysical poets of the Renaissance, Donne, is best known for his oft quoted, "No man is an island..." and "For whom the bells toll..." He is willfully contradictory, melding diverse realities into a whole new thinking pattern. Theatrical, humbling, extraordinary and quite simply beautiful!

"A Great Book!" — S. Anderson

"Wonderful Poetry!" — S. Schwartz

"Marvelous!" — Tepi

 
Poems of John Milton

Spectacular, innovative, and bursting with poetic fancy, internationally renowned John Milton wrote in English, Latin and Italian. Though blind towards the end of his life, Milton continues to open the eyes of thousands to see God’s plan for all mankind and His infinite mercy to all, in a highly charged and dramatic fashion. In the style of Greek tragedy and high drama, his rendition of the Biblical account of satan’s expulsion from heaven and, Man’s fall in Eden is forcefully extravagant without digressing from the truth. Emotive and expressive, Milton will leave an ineffaceable impression!

"The greatest English author!" — William Hayley

"Very dramatic and gripping! " — Andrew Newman

"Highly recommended!" — Isabella Rowlands

 
Poems of St. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux

Lovingly called "Little flower of Jesus", St. Teresa is beloved for her exquisitely gentle and sweet legacy of love for Christ evident through her poems. Translated from French, the powerful intensity of her passionate love for the Lord Jesus and her amazing ardor to please Him, have been retained. Insightful and with an incredible sense of self-direction St Teresa’s verses are a spiritually illuminating confession of uninhibited allegiance to God, an ecstasy beyond words! Her unmistakable mystical connection with God is evident. The greatest loveliness and power are found mostly between the lines of her poems! Remarkable!

"Simply delightful!" — Barry E. DeWalt

"A must read!" — T. Starr

"Something to change your life!" — Jennifer Beck

 
Selected poems of Edward Taylor

"Reformed theology in a brand new garb! Attractive verse that becomes even more alluring on reading it slowly and loudly! Peppered with symbolism and lyrical extended metaphors Taylor’s works examine a debate between God and fallen man, satan and the soul! Though he slips into meditative self-examination in a more or less predictive style, his joy that he is accepted by God satisfies him beyond measure! Taylor’s reality and depth of mystical empathy with God shine through with brilliance. Heartwarming.

"Reality and depth in his poems!" — David Stanford

"A transcendent style of poetry to offer praise and worship." — Karen E. Rowe

 
Selected poems of Miss Havergal

Impressive and memorable, all of Frances Ridley Havergal’s poems have an evocative touch! Writing poetry was her natural way of expressing spiritual truths. Producing her first poem at age 7 she went on to give the world hundreds of songs, hymns and poems, the best known being, "Take my life and let it be." Pregnant with meaning and sweetly devotional, this brief bright light of English Hymnody left a permanent impact on Christian worship the world over. Christ was her center, full and free salvation her recurrent theme! Revel in the beauty of Christ through her freshness of thought.

"Sweet, handy little classic!" — Kang

 
Selected poems of Michael Wigglesworth

Wrathful poetry! In true ballad style with jangling meter, Michael Wigglesworth, British-born American poet, slams home his message of the judgement of God! Focusing mostly on the doctrine of righteousness, using rough and immediate imagery, Wigglesworth’s work is indelible! Famous for his poem "Day of Doom", Wigglesworth depicts Christ’s imminent return to judge the world — calling both the living and the dead! Wigglesworth uncompromisingly sticks close to the Biblical account, providing reliable and dependable straightforward poetry that can be taken at face value. Uncompromising and invaluable!

 
 

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