Dance of a Fallen Monk : A Journey to Spiritual Enlightenment
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Abide
USD:19.85

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Dance of a Fallen Monk : A Journey to Spiritual Enlightenment

Dance of a Fallen Monk : A Journey to Spiritual Enlightenment
After almost twenty years of strict celibacy and silence as a Trappist monk and priest, George Fowler decided reluctantly to leave the Catholic Church at the age of forty in search of a more meaningful spiritual life.  In rejecting the strictures of monastery life, and the constraints imposed on him by the Catholic Church, Fowler came to realize that the inner serenity and spiritual peace he spent his life searching for could only be found "while uproariously ignoring the greater part of what the churches thump their Book about."  Now a nationally syndicated columnist on religious issues, George Fowler has written a penetrating and poignant account of how he learned to hear the music of life--and dance to its joyous beat.
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Abide

Abide

Winner, 2015 Colorado Book Award
Finalist, 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award

In the years leading up to his recent passing, Alabama poet Jake Adam York set out on a journey to elegize the 126 martyrs of the civil rights movement, murdered in the years between 1954 and 1968. Abide is the stunning follow-up to York’s earlier volumes, a memorial in verse for those fallen. From Birmingham to Okemah, Memphis to Houston, York’s poems both mourn and inspire in their quest for justice, ownership, and understanding.

Within are anthems to John Earl Reese, a sixteen-year-old shot by Klansmen through the window of a café in Mayflower, Texas, where he was dancing in 1955; to victims lynched on the Oklahoma prairies; to the four children who perished in the Birmingham church bombing of 1963; and to families who saw the white hoods of the Klan illuminated by burning crosses. Juxtaposed with these horrors are more loving images of the South: the aroma of greens simmering on the stove, “tornado-strong” houses built by loved ones long gone, and the power of rivers “dark as roux.” 

Throughout these lush narratives, York resurrects the ghosts of Orpheus, Sun Ra, Howlin’ Wolf, Thelonious Monk, Woody Guthrie, and more, summoning blues, jazz, hip-hop, and folk musicians for performances of their “liberation music” that give special meaning to the tales of the dead.

In the same moment that Abide memorializes the fallen, it also raises the ethical questions faced by York during this, his life’s work: What does it mean to elegize? What does it mean to elegize martyrs? What does it mean to disturb the symmetries of the South’s racial politics or its racial poetics?

A bittersweet elegy for the poet himself, Abide is as subtle and inviting as the whisper of a record sleeve, the gasp of the record needle, beckoning us to heed our history.





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