By Virginia Adair
Ideals and Blasphemies shows an identical qualities--accessibility, deep feeling, knowledge, humor, and technical brilliance--that made Virginia Hamilton Adair's first choice of poems, Ants at the Melon, right into a bestseller and a literary landmark. right here Mrs. Adair devotes her cognizance to a unmarried subject matter, faith, yet in her awesome functionality the theme's adaptations become extensive and deep--from reverence to iconoclasm, from comedy to profundity, from pleasure to lament. while you are trying to find Hallmark platitudes or E-Z religion, glance elsewhere.
In "Saving the Songs," for instance, we reassess Martin Luther's penchant for recycling barroom tunes into hymns: "Said Luther of the making a song in saloons,/'Why should still the satan have the most excellent tunes?'" extra soberly, in "The Reassem-blage," we're requested to check the extremes of the Christian model of the hereafter--"one a verdict brutal past imagination,/the different by way of so much reviews an eternity of boredom"--against our hearts' hopes. the belief? "Some myths are too bad for our believing." "Goddesses First" muses concerning the primacy of woman deities in lots of spiritual myths. "Choosing" makes use of the poet's digital blindness to provide an explanation for her party of the single contrast her "frail imaginative and prescient can discern": the literal distinction among evening and day. Zen temples and the chapel at a kingdom psychological sanatorium, animism and meditation, whores and angels--this curious, witty, and compassionate sensibility encompasses them all.
Virginia Hamilton Adair is a uniquely American poet--restless in her lyrical investigations, hopeful and sincere, rigorous in her formal accomplishments, spontaneous in her feelings. ideals and Blasphemies will attract an individual who has ever considered first issues or ultimate things--anyone who enjoys speculating approximately how we came and the place we are going--and it is going to reconfirm its author's stature as a countrywide treasure.
From the Hardcover edition.