In this collection, poet Sarah Law presents lucid, lyrical reflections on the much-loved saint, Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-97), whose life and writing has been an inspiration to so many people. For Sarah Law, there is something about Thérèse that catches at the heart, and her poems flow from that sense of friendship and tenderness with her subject. Many of the poems meditate on events, large and small, in Thérèse's brief but spiritually significant life. The first section explores her childhood, and the second, her nine precious years as a Carmelite nun; years of both sweetness and suffering. Several poems are inspired by well-known photographs of Thérèse, some of which are included in this volume. A final section considers Thérèse's legacy, as her 'little way' of confidence and love became known throughout the world. Each poem may be read as an individual reflection, and as part of the larger biographical sequence.
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A biography-in-verse that brims with beauty, pain, insight, and humility, Thérèse informs as it inspires. In Sarah Law’s honest and perceptive portrayals, the ‘busy stillness’ and ‘little ways’ of this Carmelite nun become a ‘petal, flaming high in Christ’s kaleidoscope.’ This is a poetry pilgrimage you’ll want to take.
Little souls, little petals, little Carmelite—the word little is intrinsically woven into the life of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and it appears repeatedly, in all the right places, in this poetic biography of the saint. The poems enthrall by their attention to sensory detail and the underlying strength they evince. Through them we learn how Thérèse’s ‘little world blossom[ed] / under her sword’s steel.’ A deeply moving and memorable work.
Thérèse of Lisieux had the soul of a poet, and this life of Thérèse in poetry, inspired by the photos, reminiscences, and incidents of the saint, penetrates the depths hidden in the seeming triviality of her life and her ‘resolute littleness,’ adding fresh and new insight.
Sarah Law is a UK based poet and writer who teaches for the Open University and elsewhere. She has published five full length poetry collections, and a Poetry Book Society selected pamphlet, in the UK and featured in various journals and anthologies. She has long been drawn to contemplative expressions of Christianity and has written and lectured on medieval Norfolk visionaries Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe, as well as later figures. She set up and edits the online journal Amethyst Review, for new writing engaging with the sacred.