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Twenty Poems to Nourish Your Soul Paperback – November 1, 2005

5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Judith Valente is an award-winning journalist, poet and essayist. She grew up in Bayonne, NJ, but Illinois has been her adopted home for many years. She is an on air correspondent for "Religion & Ethics Newsweekly" on national PBS-TV, Chicago Public Radio, NPR, and WGLT in Normal IL. She is a sought-after speaker on such subjects as living a more contemplative life, discovering inner wisdom through poetry, and finding meaning in your work. She is married to Illinois Judge Charles Reynard, also a poet. The couple operates an alfalfa farm in central Illinois, where Judith is a member of the Grand Prairie Master Naturalists, a group that cares for and maintains the Illinois prairie.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Loyola Press (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0829418695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0829418699
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,044,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By J. Dorn on December 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
The question of what inspires us and why is a topic of endless fascination. Virtually all of us can quotes lines from a poem that has special meaning for us. Many books which purport to be inspirational suffer from being either too personal or too general. "Twenty Poems to Nourish Your Soul" is that rare book which is both personal and inclusive. The selected poems are inspirational, and the essays are heart warming. To their credit the authors, both of whom are poets, strictly limit the amount of their own work that is presented, and focus on inspirational poems by others. Having said that, Mr. Reynard's poem alone is reason to buy this book. Altogether, an outstanding effort that belongs on everyone's bookshelf and is a superb gift for anyone you know. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This essay collection contains appreciations written with elegance and conviction about a group of fresh, often radiantly achieved, poems. They are authored by a range of (mostly) contemporary authors sharing a common reach toward the mystical. Intended to acquaint ordinary readers with spiritually refreshing poetry, "Twenty Poems," provides both a rich account of the transporting dimension of several marvelous poems; and serves as an enactment of spiritual energy itself. Authors Valente and Reynard, a married couple, are poets themselves; and there is disarming directness in the advice they offer on how to apprehend beautiful, spiritually based poetry; and how to most productively live with it afterwards - so that it lives within you. This book, meant to illuminate gems of poetry, is a gem itself.
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Format: Paperback
Twenty Poems to Nourish Your Soul

I haven't read a whole lot of poetry in my life, but I ran across this book on the internet and realized that I was acquainted with one of the authors some thirty years ago. Well, I had to buy it, and found it full of thoughts and feelings that soared straight into my soul.

I have to be honest. Much of the book addresses the kind of sorrow and loss that most of us would rather not dwell upon. While it was painful to read about some of these experiences, it also led me beyond catharsis to a fuller experience of similar moments in my life. Coupled with the authors' gratitude for all things, this poetry can lead to authentic joy.

Both my wife and I found the selected poems and the commentary meaningful and inciteful. We have shared feelings very similar to those of these married authors.

I really appreciated authors Charles Reynard and Judith Valente's cosmic and Eucharistic perspective on life -- given from a layperson's perspective. This is so refreshing, and we need much more of it.

Valente's Pulitzer Prize-nominated writing makes the book sail along as if on a breeze.

Ultimately, Valente and Reynard use poetry to explore some really fundamental and universal questions with simple and concrete imagery. It reminds us that life is a sacrament; everyday life with all of its joys and sorrows, order and messiness, sacredness and profanity. All of it, ALL OF IT is pregnant with God.

Given that reality, as Reynard says, "How can I keep from singing?"

- Shawn Perry
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