The Wonder Paradox : Embracing the Weirdness of Existence and the Poetry of Our Lives – Jennifer Michael Hecht (Hardcover)


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A lively, practical, and transcendent roadmap to meaning and connection through poetry. Where do we find magic? Peace? Connection? We have calendars to mark time, communal spaces to bring us together, bells to signal hours of contemplation, o?cial archives to record legacies, the wisdom of sages read aloud, weekly, to map out the right way to live—in kindness, justice, morality. These rhythms and structures of society were all once set by religion. Now, for many, religion no longer runs the show. So how then to celebrate milestones? Find rules to guide us? Figure out which texts can focus our attention but still o?er space for inquiry, communion, and the chance to dwell for a dazzling instant in what can’t be said? Where, really, are truth and beauty? The answer, says The Wonder Paradox, is in poetry. In twenty chapters built from years of questions and conversations with those looking for an authentic and meaningful life, Jennifer Michael Hecht others ways to mine and adapt the useful aspects of tradition and to replace what no longer feels true. Through cultures and poetic wisdom from around the world—Sappho, Rumi, Shakespeare, Issa, Tagore, Frost, Szymborska, Angelou, and others—she blends literary criticism with spiritual guidance rooted in the everyday. Linking our needs to particular poems, she helps us better understand those needs, our very being, and poetry itself. Our capacity for wonder is one of the greatest joys of being human; The Wonder Paradox celebrates that instinct and that yearning.


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