God's Poems

978-1-58731-342-4; 978-1-58731-346-2
Forthcoming Books
Paperback $20, E-book $20
6" x 9", 196 pages, pub date: November 2021

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God's Poems

The Beauty of Poetry and Christian Imagination

Poch, John

Poetry is exciting, but elusive to most. This is troublesome for Christians because the Bible, John Poch reminds us, is largely composed of poetical verse. In God’s Poems, Poch re-introduces sacred text as purposefully poetic, and explains what that means and invites the reader to with this insight live more thoughtfully and beautifully. 

But that is not all. Poch as a well-established and regarded poet, turns his eye to contemporary poetry and vindicates its function in a “created and creative world.” Today many have abandoned the genre as a wasteland of misguided voice that really has nothing to say. The poet is a truth-teller, and Poch as devoted writer, teacher, and believer sends out a renewed call to turn to verse as a means of seeing oneself as God’s p`oeima, or poem (Letter to Ephesians). The depth of self-knowing relates directly to an aptitude to engage the category of poetry at some level. A tragic void is filled with Poch’s effort to exhort the reader to patiently reconnect with poetry even though it has been hijacked by persons who want to be heard more than speak well. (This book is essential, therefore, for aspiring poets.)

For faithful readers or those seeking to return, Poch is a place to begin to understand contemporary writers worth knowing and which poets of the past must remain with us. In Virgilian fashion, he can see the panorama behind him and that which lies immediately ahead and instills a recovered love of an eternal medium that will be restored to a state of coherency and enlightened perspective. If Poch has faith in poetry it is because poetry is indeed a source of faith. If Justin Martyr claimed that everything that is true belongs to Christians, Poch shows us that everyone who speaks truth is to some degree a poet. Even God with his revealed wisdom chooses poetry as medium par excellence. It is essential to know how poetry works. “Great poems that we consider literature give us what we never expected. They go beyond the usefulness of conveying a feeling and unveiling beauty; and they tell us who we are.” 

John Poch (PhD, University of Texas) is President’s Excellence Research Professor in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University and the author of six books of poetry and a number of other collaborative works. He has garnered much praise and many awards for his work, including The New Criterion Prize, The Donald Justice Award for Poetry, and a Fulbright Core Scholar Fellowship to the University of Barcelona, where he taught American poetry. His poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry, Paris Review, Yale Review, The Christian Century, and Image