Recently I have been reading a lot of poetry. I find that poetry is very much like prayer, lyrical reflections on the human condition which are shared with the rest of the world. I have been reading Tony Abbott (a local NC poet), Mary Karr, Anne Sexton, Robert Frost, and Mary Oliver. Now I have to add Kevin Young to my list.
Mr. Young is the editor of a new anthology of poetry called, The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing published by Bloomsbury (2010) is a collection of poetry on the theme of grief, loss, death, and survival. The book is divided into six sections:
I didn't know what to expect from Mr. Young's poetic insights because poetry is new to me. For the past 15 years I have devoted my time to theology, scripture studies, and Church history. Wow, did Mr. Young convert me! These poems were beautiful, some short, some long, some light, others intense. However, they all reveal the pain and anguish of losing a friend, parent, sibling, or neighbor. While reading I found myself thinking about grieving both of my parents who have died, one from a sudden heart attack and the other from a long bout with liver disease. I grieved each parent differently. Each parent left me with feelings of pain, joy, anger, and resentment. Poetry, like prayer, gives voice to those feelings.
The Art of Losing is a must read especially for pastors, social workers, or grief counselors who directly work with grief on a regular basis. These poems are the material from which sermons are made and prayers are offered.
Congratulations to Mr. Young for culling volumes upon volumes of poems and poets to find just the right ones to fill this lovely book. Judging from the poems and the beautiful cover of this book it certainly must have been a labor of love.
Take and read The Art of Losing, you will be inspired!