- Series: Poiema Poetry (Numbered) (Book 10)
- Paperback: 84 pages
- Publisher: Cascade Books (November 18, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1625642881
- ISBN-13: 978-1625642882
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,245,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Second Sky: Poems (Poiema Poetry Series) (Poiema Poetry (Numbered))
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''While these poems are anchored by Paul s familiar words, his directives and admonishments, Tania Runyan s plucky responses challenge traditional pictures of the believer s life. God s grace appears in many guises in her poems from a frisbee laid bare in the melting snow to a drive on icy roads with a carload of children. These are spirited and intimate pictures of a suburban woman s encounter with holy mystery, often both unpredictable and oddly comforting.''
Jill Palaez Baumgaertner, Professor of English, Wheaton College
''This is a remarkable book. The poems are brief posts about the fissures - cataclysms - emergencies in the daily life of a parent, a spouse, a friend. It was only after devouring the book that I went back to check on how each poem glosses a passage of Scripture. There are layers and layers here to uncover. I will discover them slowly, but meanwhile, I love the fierce brio of these poems. I love their intelligence and urgency.''
--Jeanne Murray Walker, Professor of English, University of Delaware --Wipf and Stock Publishers
About the Author
Tania Runyan, an NEA fellow, is the author of A Thousand Vessels, Simple Weight, and Delicious Air, which won the Book of the Year from the Conference on Christianity and Literature. Her work has appeared in dozens of journals, including Poetry, Image, The Christian Century, Books & Culture, Mid-American Review, and the Harvard Divinity Bulletin. She lives with her family in northern Illinois.
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Top customer reviews
Here’s how she works. Take the first poem, based on Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” She uses as her title, “Setting My Mind,” referencing the text, and begins the poem firmly grounded in earthly things—trucks spewing road salt, an image of the Abominable Snowman toppling a Dairy Queen. The speaker prays to “unclench and love, / find the mysteries of the Spirit / in swaths of black ice,” certainly a difficult thing to do when the frail shell of the car contains her own family. She tries to find “the arms // of Christ in the muscled mounds of snow,” then ends with this lovely image: “flakes like alyssum flowers / blurring their faces in the window.” Runyan isn’t preachy or didactic, just mulling things over in a conversational way that even non-readers of poetry will enjoy. There’s a lovely use of language throughout, always grounded in the here and now of everyday life: “I didn’t work / at this joy. It just appeared in the splash / and shine of I-94.”
Who wouldn’t love a book with a poem called “Cadillac Ranch” (one of my favorite Springsteen songs) whose text is Galations 6:9? Or one where a poem (“The Greatest of These”)(I Corinthians: 13) exhorts: “Embrace the woman whose child screams / on the floor of the cereal aisle” (yes, that could be me), [who] “yields the last word on the Facebook fight.” If that isn’t love made visible, I don’t know what is. . . .
You can read Second Sky as a book of poetry, or you can use it as a book of daily meditations, going back to read the texts cited next to the title of each poem. Either way, your inner life will be satisfied and nourished by this thoughtful and thought-provoking book.
This is a trip around the country, around the world, through history, through identity, “dreamy and lit/ as if seen through a locust wing/ held to the sun.” And in the accessibility and immediacy of the poems, the invitation goes out to each one of us. It's a journey we must take, because the destination is nothing less than what poetry does at its best, nothing short of Paul’s focus throughout his writings in the New Testament: rebirth. Resurrection.