Chapters into Verse: Volume One: Genesis to Malachi
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Chapters into Verse: Volume One: Genesis to Malachi

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Description

From John Milton to D. H. Lawrence, poets have found creative inspiration in the Bible. This unique two-volume collection encompasses work of a variety of tones - devotional and meditative, sardonic or political - and includes re-enactments of key episodes, lyrical descants on familiar passages, peronal expressions of faith, and veiled social commentaries. Roughly dividing the material between Old and the New Testaments, each volume presents the original biblical passage along with the poem to provide a fascinating new perspective on familiar works of literature. Innovative and comprehensive, Chapters into Verse includes work by Donne, Blake, Keats, Byron, Hopkins, Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Hardy, Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, and many many more.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 512 pages
  • 139.7 x 213.36 x 43.18mm | 748.42g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0195069137
  • 9780195069136
  • 1,226,276

Back cover copy

For generations, poets have turned to the Bible for insight and inspiration. What did so many creative minds find in scripture? Is the Bible still a vital source of poetic inspirations? Chapters Into Verse is the first comprehensive collection ever made of poems written in English inspired by the Bible. A ground-breaking anthology, it introduces readers to a distinct heritage of English poetry: the scriptural tradition. Though frequently ignored and sometimes suppressed, this tradition rivals the classical and is every bit as venerable. Drawing a unique map of the history of English poetry, the two volumes of Chapters Into Verse survey and define the literary legacy of the Scriptures from the fourteenth century to the present. Each volume is arranged in scriptural order, and each poem is preceded by the biblical passage that inspired it. Thus readers can conveniently witness the various ways sacred text has sparked the imagination of poets throughout the ages. Volume II follows the Gospels (harmonized) through Revelation. The collection features verses both famous and unfamiliar, from John Donne's meditative masterpieces to D.H. Lawrence's quirky expostulations. The editors have included poems by virtually all the prominent religious poets - among them, John Milton, George Herbert, Henry Vaughan, Edward Taylor, Christopher Smart, and Gerard Manly Hopkins. Included, too, are devotional and visionary works from a wide range of vintage poets - Edmund Spenser, Alexander Pope, Robert Burns, William Blake, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Alfred Tennyson, and Robert Browning. Proving that the Bible is just as powerful a source of inspiration today as it was in the past, thecollection assembles a mixed congregation of modern and contemporary poets, such as Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Delmore Schwartz, Dylan Thomas, Robert Frost, Countee Cullen, William Butler Yeats, John Berryman, Robert Graves, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Lee Murray, Amy Clampitt, and Richard Wilbur. Of enduring interest to readers of both scripture and literature, Chapters Into Verse is truly a poets' Bible. In selection after selection, readers will encounter an astonishing variety of religious experiences, as a host of poets from many eras and many backgrounds respond to Holy Scripture spiritually, profoundly, and imaginatively.show more

About Robert Atwan

Robert Atwan is founder and series editor of the annual Best American Essays. The editor of numerous anthologies, he has written on the ancient literature of the Near East and his critical essays and poetry reviews have appeared in many national periodicals. Laurance Wieder is the author of several volumes of poetry, including The Coronet of Tours; No Harm Done; The Last Century: Selected Poems; and One Hundred Fifty Psalms, a complete psalter. He has taught Bible and Ancient Authors at Cornell University.show more

Review quote

'Now that so many readers come to literature entirely ignorant of its Christian heritage, this collection fills an unfortunately necessary gap.' English Studies, Volume 75, Number 6, November 1994 'Every now and again an anthology appears which manages to open one's eyes to a new aspect of literature. This two-volume collection is one such, a thick, rich anthology of poetry inspired by the Bible. Imagine the difference if you gave this to your vicar. As he prepared the week's sermon, besides looking up the Hebrew or Greek meaning, he could also choose a relevant piece of poetry. Even if the sermon was rubbish, the congregation would get a bit of decent verse.' The Sign, February 1994 A wealth of literature and poetry is collected by Robert Atwan in these volumes which will last the reader for many years. In common with all anthologies there is a great deal which can be found in other collections. It follows a great tradition of such books and will prove to be a valuable devotional aid, much appreciated by those with wider poetic appreciation.' John Dale, Methodist Recorder 'The editor's range has been extremely wide ... I cannot imagine the work as a whole being better done.' Peter Levi, Catholic Herald 'a brave and commendable venture by these two American anthologists to gather a formidable array of verse which in their phrase directly "responds to" scripture and to place it alongside the appropriate biblical passages' Arthur Pollard, Church Times Astonishing that no one has come up with the idea before! The result is a two-volume work that elucidates and sometimes contradicts the writings that form the basis of Judeo-Christian belief. To read these Scripture passages and the poems that follow them is to take an unusual, reflective journey through the Bible and through the history of English poetry. Highly recommended for all libraries.' Judy Clarence, Cal. State Univ. Lib., Haywardshow more

Rating details

17 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
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4 71% (12)
3 6% (1)
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