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Posts tagged "Christian Wiman"

Can You Recover an Irrecoverable Faith?

Here, in the title essay for Christian Wiman’s My Bright Abyss, he talks about the perennial nostalgia “seasoned” Christians tend to feel about the faith of younger years. Often selectively remembered (and often unhelpfully untrue), selves of the past are conjured up as a judgment upon the faith that is lacking here and now. We […]

Another Week Ends: Schismogenesis, Megachurch Funerals, Accidental Theology, Smartphone Shrinks, Mean Professors, Nocebos, Zooropa and Elysium

1. The NY Times published a wise op-ed from sociologist Tanya Luhrmann this past week on the the subject of “How Skeptics and Believers Can Connect”. She begins the column by recounting a disconcerting experience she had promoting her terrific book, When God Talks Back, on a Christian radio station. Luhrmann does not self-identify as […]

Christian Wiman on the Anxiety of Interpretation and the Sanity of a Strange, Ancient Thing

Earlier this week, Christian Wiman’s much-anticipated My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer shipped, and although I’m only half way through the essays contained therein, I can’t get them out of my mind. I can already tell it’s going to be a volume I return to over and over again, if for no other […]

The Day of All Days: Reflections on Haydn’s “The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour On The Cross”

This morning, we are honored to bring you original commentary on the meaning of Good Friday by the inestimable Paul Walker, written as part of a special broadcast of Joseph Haydn’s “The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour On the Cross” on WTJU-Charlottesville, 91.1 FM. For those unfamiliar with the piece, it was commissioned by the […]

The Language of Love: On Christian Wiman’s Ambition and Survival

Update: On May 15th in Charlottesville, VA, Mockingbird is honored to be co-hosting an evening with poet and author Christian Wiman. Details can be found on the Christ Church website. Our good friend and Fall conference speaker (and literary editor of The Dish!) Matthew Sitman has been kind enough to offer some thoughts on what […]

2047 Grace Street – Christian Wiman

7940354But the world is more often refuge
than evidence, comfort and covert
for the flinching will, rather than the sharp
particulate instants through which God’s being burns
into ours. I say God and mean more
than the bright abyss that opens in that word.
I say world and mean less
than the abstract oblivion of atoms
out of which every intact thing finally goes.
I do not know how to come closer to God
except by standing where a world is ending
for one man. It is still dark,
and for an hour I have listened
to the breathing of the woman I love beyond
my ability to love. Praise to the pain
scalding us toward each other, the grief
beyond which, please God, she will live
and thrive. And praise to the light that is not
yet, the dawn in which one bird believes,
crying not as if there had been no night
but as if there were no night in which it had not been.


The above can be found in the collection, Every Riven Thing. Again, we are so excited to be hosting Christian here in Charlottesville on Weds evening March 6th. The updated title of his talk is, “And I Was Alive: Faith in a Faithless Time.” We hope you can join us!

Christian Wiman on Wounds We Won’t Get Over (and the Reprieve Therein)

A stunning excerpt from the great poet’s essay “The Limit,” which can be found in his collection Ambition and Survival: “There are wounds we won’t get over. There are things that happen to us that, no matter how hard we try to forget, no matter with what fortitude we face them, what mix of religion […]

This Mind of Dying – Christian Wiman

God let me give you now this mind of dying
fevering me back
into consciousness of all I lack
and of that consciousness becoming proud:

There are keener griefs than God.
They come quietly, and in plain daylight,
leaving us with nothing, and the means to feel it.

My God my grief forgive my grief tamed in language
to a fear that I can bear.
Make of my anguish
more than I can make. Lord, hear my prayer.


From the collection Every Riven Thing. Mbird is sponsoring an evening with Christian on Weds, March 6th in Charlottesville, VA. More details coming soon.

Another Week Ends: Wiman’s Abyss, Opinionless Boyfriends, Compassionology, Lehrergate, Antinomianism, Revolution, Taylor Swift, and Wreck-It Ralph

1. Every once and a while something comes across your screen that is so beautiful and honest and profound and enlivening that you want to force others to watch it. If commands of this kind worked, that’s what I’d do here. I’m referring to the interview that Bill Moyers conducted with poet (and Poetry Magazine […]

Language as Empathy: Compassion and the Grace of Expression

Over at The American Scholar, acclaimed poet Christian Wiman wrote an essay, entitled “Mortify Our Wolves“, on his sickness with cancer and the dynamics of loss more generally – from the perspective of a preternaturally articulate Christian and sufferer. For those interested in language, empathy, pastoral care, or just about anything else in the world, […]

Lord Is Not A Word – Christian Wiman

From the May issue of The Atlantic (ht JR – for more on Wiman, go here): Lord is not a word. Song is not a salve. Suffer the child, who lived on sunlight and solitude. Savor the man, craving earth like an aftertaste. To discover in one’s hand two local stones the size of a […]