Marilyn Sewell, the editor of this glorious anthology of spiritual poetry by women, is a Unitarian Universalist minister in a parish. In the introduction, she explains that poetry is a natural vehicle for the sacred since it moves us toward wholeness, starts with the body, speaks of love and hope, emphasizes feeling, possesses the imperative of intimacy, bears witness to the unity of life and the centrality of relationship, and challenges us to re-vision the Divine. Among the thematic chapters are ones on Owning Self, Mothering, Generations, The Will Toward the Good, and the Sacred in the Ordinary.
The diversity of women's voices here is astonishing with such luminaries as Hildegard of Bingen, Maya Angelou, Annie Dillard, Denise Levertov, Marge Piercy, Joy Harjo, Anne Sexton, Alice Walker, and Eudora Welty. Here is an excerpt from "Matins" by Denise Levertov:
Marvelous Truth, confront us
at every turn,
in every guise, iron ball,
egg, dark horse, shadow,
of breath on the air,
in our crowded hearts
our steaming bathrooms, kitchens full of
things to be done, the
Thrust close your smile
that we know you, terrible joy.