All Nature Is a Sacramental Fire

Paper $17
144 pages, 5½" x 8½"

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All Nature Is a Sacramental Fire

Light Verse, Moments of Beauty, Sorrow, and Joy

Novak, Michael

The Lord God Creator has given us five openings to the physical world around us, that sacramental world in which we swim: hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell. The experience of each of these senses is sometimes sharp and clean; poignant, evocative, almost unendurable. In the lines of this collection, penned during sixty years, Michael Novak has sought to snatch from the flames of rushing time a few simple pieces, shards, remainders. “All Nature is a Heraclitean Fire,” a real poet wrote. Novak calls himself an amateur. But one who believes, however, that everybody should write poetry, or reach for it. It is the language of our soul. It is concentrated prose.

It's not often that we can be privy to a public person's private thoughts and feelings. This privilege is granted anyone who peruses this intensely personal collection of Michael Novak's verse. There is the political poetry, of course, much of which is delightful, not least "The Ballad of Richard John", a rambunctious tribute to the late Father Neuhaus in the form of a pastiche of Chesterton's "Lepanto", but readers will also be drawn to some of the verse inspired by Novak's lifelong love affairs with his late wife and with the Church. At its best, the verse in this volume will move the reader to tears of laughter, joy and sorrow. They are the tears of life. – Joseph Pearce

Michael Novak was an American Catholic philosopher, journalist, novelist, and diplomat. The author of more than twenty-five books on the philosophy and theology of culture, Novak was most widely known for his book The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism (1982). Novak served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 1981 and 1982 and led the U.S. delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1986. In 1994 he was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.  He died on February 16, 2017.