Friday, June 11, 2010
"A Sacrifice of Praise," by James Trott
The past couple of months I have been reading and commenting on selections (mostly on Fridays) from this unique and wonderful book. The publisher writes:
"A Sacrifice of Praise is a one-volume collection of Christian poetry in English compiled from a spectrum of poets who span twelve centuries. Beginning with Caedmon (ca. 658-680), the poetry comes from the anicent, medieval, Reformation, and modern periods and from Anglican, Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox poets, as well as mainline and evangelical traditions. Because poetry is a vehicle of praise and exhortation, of meditation and understanding, these selections include every form and style of reflection and psalm, from private, personal devotion to hymns and epic forms with godly themes.
In addition to the poetry, each chapter includes an introduction and time line meant to provide a background against which readers can better understand the intricacies and nuances of the poets and their work. Short biographical introductions to each poet are briefly introduced alongside their poetry.
We who speak English have twelve centuries of Christian poetry behind us. I t is a deep and broad stream of praise, frequently poured out by men and women who died for the faith in the midst of persecution. While the glory of God may have been diminished by sectarian motives of some poets, the channel of the stream has always been faith, an unbroken succession of men and women who have praised God. Thus while A Sacrifice of Praise may instruct those who write poetry, it is ultimately a hymnbook for all of God's people."