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Monday, January 17, 2011

RevGalBookPals: Sources of Inspiration

After the discussion about devotions before meetings in last week's Ask the Matriarch posting, I got to thinking about writers and poets who are my "go to" resources both for opening readings and for my own dry periods. For today's RevGalBookPals, I invite you to share your favorites. 

I frequently turn to poetry. My new favorite book is Swan: Poems and Prose Poems, by Mary Oliver. Our own Mary Beth gave me this book! What riches!! I can't say I've finished it, because you never finish with a book of poetry, but I have given all the poems a once-over, and some more than a once. I love the way Mary Oliver brought nature into the hearts and minds of so many preachers only to discover sacramental Christianity herself late in life. Here's a poem, "How Many Days" that describes the tension between the two:

How many days I loved and had never used
the holy words.
Tenderly I began them when it came to me
to want to, oh mystery irrefutable!
Then I went out of that place
and into a field and lay down
among the weeds and the grasses,
whispering to them, fast, in order to keep
that world also.

Marvelous, isn't it? 

Please use the comments to share a favorite with us. And if you would like to review a book in the coming months, let me know.

The books in our Amazon widget to the right were written by ring members or BE presenters. Be sure to take a look at them! If you purchase a book by clicking through from our blog, RevGalBlogPals receives a small percentage. It's one of the ways you help make the BE possible. Thank you for your support!


  1. I love Mary Oliver's poetry and have used it for my personal reflections, for group reflections, and in sermons....and yes, I am never "finished" with her books of poetry.

  2. I was recently introduced to Mary Oliver's poetry and have absolutely fallen in love. I'm excited to get a few books for myself.

  3. I learned about Mary Oliver from RevGals, I'm not sure which one of us. I adore her work. It makes me feel right at home.

    Rumi is a big favorite right now. I have a book with the most amazing illustrations of Rumi poems, and I love to sit with it and get lost.

  4. Mary Oliver is one of my very favorites, too! I also keep returning to Kilian McDonnell for a different type of meditation, scripture engagement and delight.

    He has 3 books of poetry (he began writing poetry in his 70s!) which I read over and over: "Swift, Lord, You Are Not", "God Drops and Loses Things", and "Yahweh's Other Shoe". You can find some of his work here:

    Two other books I have found amazing for reflections and use repeatedly are: "Dancing with Joy" and "For Lovers of God Everywhere" both edited by Roger Housden.

    I clearly appreciate this topic! :)


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