By Luise Abramowski, Alan E. Goodman
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Additional info for A Nestorian Collection of Christological Texts, Volume 1: Syriac Texts
I will also try to identify the barriers which prevent us continuing that journey ‘in good faith’. Those who heard Allen Ginsberg read ‘Howl’ experienced something unexpected, perhaps a moment when the sacred entered their lives, a moment which was intense and revelatory. Ginsberg’s ‘act of good faith’ arguably generated other acts of good faith in his audience. Some of those might have taken the form of a conscious decision, small or large, which would affect the rest of their lives; others might have taken the form of a slight shift of consciousness of which they were barely aware.
Sometimes a passage of scripture might be the starting point for a poem (as was the case for ‘Banquet’ and ‘Anna’ below); sometimes an idea, suggestive phrase or image from a theological text might prompt the poem (as is the case for many of the poems in my Book of Mary and Seeking the Risen Christa). html). Poetry has been the place where I’ve wrestled with what it means to ‘pray like a woman’, not by reflecting on this question in any kind of systematic, second-order way (though I have also done that), but precisely by writing prayers that are grounded in the reality of my own life and that attempt to speak truthfully about my life (its childlessness, for example, or my struggle with low-level sickness and fatigue).
Adrienne Rich, one of the foremost feminist poets and thinkers whose work can be seen as a forging of just such a new form of discourse, speaks of the profound alienation experienced by the woman poet: ‘The rules break like a thermometer … the maps they gave us were out of date / by years’ (Rich, 1993: 31). The female poet, like the political agent, is required to exercise ‘radical imagination’ – ‘the radical imagination of the not-yet, the what-if’ (Prince, 1998:1) – in order to give birth to new forms of perception, new ways of speaking.
A Nestorian Collection of Christological Texts, Volume 1: Syriac Texts by Luise Abramowski, Alan E. Goodman
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