Poetry and Prayer
The 2006 Lent Book
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"The 2006 Mowbray Lent" book is an original and refreshing new concept of a well worn category of publication. The human story behind the writing of this book is also remarkable. Richard Griffiths was until recently Professor of French at King's College in the University of London. Having rediscovered his Christian belief, he decided as a new career to be ordained into the Anglican Church (The Church in Wales) and this is his first religious book - his first book on a specifically Christian theme, but not his first book for a wide popular audience. Since ordination, Griffiths has been in constant demand as a preacher and retreat giver and this Lent book emerges from that demand. Each of the chapters in this book covering the Lentern season focuses on one poem or part of one poem. Using all his skills as a literary critic, Griffiths now turns his attention in deeply meditative fashion to the study of Christian poetry as a means of raising the heart, mind and soul to God. In the process, we recognise an author of deep intelligence and religious belief. Starting with an examination of various forms of prayer, Griffiths then looks at the poetic imagination as a way into private prayer. The author is profoundly aware of the capacity of the soul not just for joy but also for doubt and questioning. The writers to whom we are introduced include T.S.Eliot, R.S. Thomas but also some who may well be less familiar- Alice Meynell, Edwin Muir. To Griffiths, God is not a funk-hole or an oxygen tank. This book is based on the raw experience in all its aspects.