Swift, Lord, You Are Not
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Some poets begin very early to write great poetry. Arthur Rimbaud wrote one of his best poems at 15, Percy Shelley published his first book of poetry at 18. But Kilian McDonnell, O.S.B., did not start until he was 75, after decades of writing as a professional theologian. Now 82 he gives us Swift, Lord, You Are Not, poems of the struggle to find God—waiting for the silence of God to break. He does not write pious verse, or inspirational poetry, but of wrestling with the illusive God. His themes are mostly biblical and monastic. He closes with an essay Poet: Can You Start at Seventy-Five? in which he describes the literary decisions he makes within the monastic context—decisions he needs to make with some dispatch. At 75 he does not have decades to mature. He writes with a new language.
St. John's University Press
McDonnell, Kilian. Swift, Lord, You Are Not. Collegeville, Minn: Saint John's University Press, 2003.