Saturday, February 20, 2021

An Oldie but Goodie

      Since I haven't been able to browse bookstores as I used to, with the pandemic and all, I've been pulling books off my bookshelves that have been ignored for too long.  One such book is the collection edited by the poet and translator Jane Hirshfield, Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women.  I'm so glad I had the opportunity to spend time again with an old friend like this book.  Perhaps you would like to add it to your bookshelf as well.

     It contains poems and brief writings by women from women spanning many centuries.  Fortunately, Hirshfield provides a brief biography of each writer and some interpretation notes when needed.  She also provided many of the translations.  Some of the writers are well known -- Mirabai, Teresa of Avila, Emily Dickinson -- but many are by writers who are not as well known outside of their respective countries.  I appreciate the efforts Hirshfield made to include writers from all spiritual traditions and many, many countries.  It makes interesting reading in that it allows the reader to compare how time and place don't make much difference in the insights of a spiritually enlightened person (or someone aspiring to that state).  Very highly recommended.

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