Why is God represented on the cover of this book of poems with a photograph of an inviting empty chair bathed in sunlight?
Because Franciscan Sister Irene Zimmerman is about to fill that chair with poetic images of God from both the Word and the World, her verses illuminated by passages from Eugene Peterson’s The Message and photos by Trappist Father James Behrens.
As she writes in her Introduction, “More than a dozen years ago I had the strong desire and determination to write and present, in one volume, poems that celebrate Scripture and Creation—what medieval theologians referred to as God’s two ‘books’ of self-revelation.” Part One contains poems inspired by scriptural stories, characters, and events intended to help the reader imagine the scene and perhaps gain new insights into the biblical texts. Part Two contains poems of God’s creation, where humans first encounter God.
“I began to experience something of the God-Mystery on the Iowa farm where I grew up,” Sister Irene explains. “Breezes rustled the drying corn or moved across fragrant hay fields. Plants rooted, sprouted, bloomed, gave fragrance in spring and food in autumn in the form of apples, cherries, peaches, potatoes. The animals sharing the turf with me offered eggs, milk, butter, meat. They used their unique voices—they peeped, clucked, crowed, squawked, chirped, mewed, barked, mooed, whinnied, snorted—to tell me of God’s creativity, generosity, humor, beauty.”
Sister Irene Zimmerman has learned to “see like sun,” as she prays at the end of her poem “Solar Graffiti.”
If I could learn to see like sun
I too would move around the world,
drawing peace on every wall
till earth was one.
And now she shares that experience with all of us.
|Dimensions:||7.25" x 7.25"|
|1-2 copies||15.26 each|
|3-5 copies||14.41 each|
|6+ copies||13.56 each|
Irene Zimmerman’s poems are simply astonishing. When I first was introduced to her poetry, I felt that I had never been closer to the Gospels. All I could think of was Emily Dickinson’s comment that a good poem should make you feel like the ‘top of your head’ has been taken off. Sister Irene’s poems, which by turns enchant, surprise, and challenge, invite you to experience, almost first hand, the profound mystery of Jesus’s life on earth. Her poems, in short, make you feel as if you are there. I return to her beautiful poetry as often as I can, and I am always rewarded.