Before the Door of God
An Anthology of Devotional Poetry
Edited by Jay Hopler and Kimberly Johnson
October 27, 2015
464 pages, 7 x 9 1/4
2 b/w illus.
Before the Door of God traces the development of devotional English-language poetry from its origins in ancient hymnody to its current twenty-first-century incarnations. The poems in this volume demonstrate not only that devotional poetry—poetry that speaks to the divine—remains in vigorous practice but also that the tradition reaches back to the very origins of poetry in English.
Featuring the work of poets over a three-thousand-year period, Before the Door of God places the devotional lyric in its cultural, historical, and aesthetic contexts. The volume traces the various influences on this tradition and identifies features that persist in devotional lyric poetry across centuries, cultures, and stylistic differences. To scholars, literary professionals, and general readers who find delight in fine poetry, this anthology offers much to contemplate and discuss.
“This rich and unique compendium of poetry will delight those interested in traditional English poems of devotion, in the ancient roots of the tradition, and in contemporary devotional poets who may be less familiar. . . . The surprises in this collection are manifold.”—J. P. Baumgaertner, Choice
"[Before the Door of God?] may in some small way help to restore your faith in the dignity and gravity of poetry. And that, dear reader, is no mean accomplishment."—David Wojahn, Kenyon Review