Word on Fire

Saint Thomas and the Forbidden Birds

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In James Matthew Wilson's fourth full-length collection of poems, the writer joins the great saint and theologian Thomas Aquinas to pause before "the thought of earthly sorrows" and to pray for "such a world that had so much to say."

These poems stand in wonder before the tumult and beauty of created things and the capacity of the soul to rise above it. We move from encounters with the world as revelation, mystery, and promise, to great scenes of sin and fracture such as the bombing of Dresden, the execution of the Roman philosopher Cicero, and scandals in the Church. The volume begins with the prospects for an unborn child soon to enter our stormy world and concludes with a "Farewell" to the place, home, and setting of many of these poems.

Saint Thomas and the Forbidden Birds is a story and pilgrimage through the troubles of our age and beyond them to the reason for our hope, "for all things turn about the love of God."

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