Love Poems from God is a book of poetry that includes twelve worldwide interfaith voices spanning the years from 717 and 1691. There are Christians, Muslims, and Hindus presented here, and it does not include Buddhists, Jews, or indigenous peoples. There are both men and women represented, and they include feminist sentiments from way back then, as well as erotic poems by recognized saints.
Here is the list of the twelve poets included: Rumi, St. Francis of Assisi, Hafiz, Kabar (new to me), St. Teresa of Avila, Tukaram (new to me), St. Catherine of Sienna, Mira (new to me), St. Thomas Aquinas, Rabja (new to me), Meister Eckhart (my favorite chapter; I need to read more of him), and St. John of the Cross.
I like both Rumi and Hafiz, and quote them often on this blog, but the choices in this book I did not feel were their best. It makes one wonder how representative are the rest? ( Click here for Rumi on this blog, or contrariwise click here for some good Hafiz I’ve quoted before.)
Below I took photos of some examples of short poems that caught my interest, so check them out.
Where is a comparable book of contemporary poets addressing God? If you know of a good one be sure to put it in the comments. There is still a wide window to be explored from 1691 – 2022! I know of individual poets exploring God (like myself and maybe you), but no anthology.
What mostly stands out in this work is that regardless of backgrounds and faith traditions, they agree about God. Also, they were interested in the same topics we think about. I find this comforting. The big difference is that they were often killed (or ex-communicated, tortured, or reviled for their work– there are short bios on each poet) while those of us that think and create poems about these things today are mostly just ignored.
Anyway, I give this compilation within its narrow slice, four stars.