To Awaken Soulfulness in the Human Voice

Poetic Medicine

THE INSTITUTE FOR

Book Review

The Longing in Between: A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology

Sacred Poetry from Around the World

 

Edited with Commentary by Ivan M. Granger
Poetry Chaikhana

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Comments from John Fox

The Longing in Between is a work of sheer beauty. Many of the selected poems are not widely known, and Ivan M. Granger has done a great service, not only by bringing them to public attention, but by opening their deeper meaning with his own rare poetic and mystic sensibility.

Roger Housden, author of Ten Poems to Change Your Life series

 

Each little flower speaks a truth...

 In my practice of the therapeutic and healing uses of poetry I leave plenty of room for spirituality. That is, the mystery which infuses experience. That is, the various and specific practices taught by spiritual traditions and religions that inform and may guide our healing journey. That is, a sense that poetry and poem-making offer a person a pathway for an increasingly authentic expression of their inner life.

It does not have to be explicit, this spirituality. I am feeling that what is true is something close to what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote, "Things have their within." Poetry gives us a way to speak the wordless, express the ineluctable, find the trail of bread crumbs that could help us feel the within.

Ivan M. Granger, creator and founder of Poetry Chaikhana.com, has lifted up to people around the world the great wealth of spiritual poetry available to us. Ivan draws from every religious/spiritual/ mystical/indigenous tradition. I hold Ivan in such high esteem for this work!

So when he asked me to write a testimonial for The Longing in Between, I was glad to do it. It is my own longing "in between" that captures my deep wish to offer Ivan some words. I've wondered whether that longing I feel isn't somehow also felt towards me by what I long for:

There Is An Origin

For each true poem born there is an origin:

Blessed ignorance of words that turn

To splendid fire, as stars in space will yearn

To find on earth their up stretched twin.

—John Fox

 

Here is my testimonial:

One thing I love about The Longing In Between, Ivan Granger's new anthology of poetry and commentary, is how inclusive this book is. With an open heart it is not that surprising or even difficult to be inclusive. It's the nature of the open heart! However, what is different here is that Ivan's heart is not only open, it's made deep from spiritual practice; and with increasing depth comes a greater clarity and clearness. Nothing is forgotten or overlooked; virtually everything that delivers a vibration of the sacred shows up on these pages.

The other thing I love is how Ivan unfolds each poem with equal attention. Everything matters. This equal attention informs me not only about nuances and details, mysteries and questions that might slip by my reading, but through Ivan's reflections I learn about respect, and gain a much greater respect for--and love, yes, love for the longing in between.

 

© 2006-2016  The Institute for Poetic Medicine and John Fox