The book Prayers of Life by Micheal Quoist is a book of poetry unlike any other I've ever read. That could speak to how few books of poetry I've read, or to how unique of a book it is. One of my Aunts gifted it to me the last time I was in London, and, attached to it was a nice handwritten note explaining how it was one of her favourite books even though it is probably now out of print.
The fact that she gifted me one of her favourite books scored a point, but it was an even greater gift because it's a book that she probably won’t be able to replace. She gave me this book in April 2022, and I've only just gotten around to reading and finishing it at the end of the year. Sorry, it's taken me so long aunty, but at least now that I've given it a once over, I can give you (and everyone else on my mailing list) some feedback.
As I said earlier, the book is unlike any other book of poetry I have ever read. No attempt is made to rhyme or rhythm. No special attention is given to humour or entertain the reader. Instead, every poem in the book is solemn and encourages the reader to reflect, just as the author is reflecting, on life - and in particular, on his/her Christian journey.
Even though I have given it a once over, the author says (and I understand why) that the book is not to be read as one reads a novel. Simply from cover to cover. But instead, each poem should be read as a prayer - A prompting of the spirit. To meditate on and talk with God.
To this end, the poems include scripture and the reflections include requests of God. Requests to help us live up to our Christian calling to love one another as Christ loved the church. The readings were powerful enough to put one in the state of mind necessary for true reflection and prayer. If you want to pray, and perhaps don't know where to start, a poem from this book could give you a nudge in the right direction.
There are over 50 poems in this collection of poetry. Each one is inspired by a different prompting, touching on a different aspect of life that was lived and prayed by the author. It might be more correct to call it a book of prayers except that it is not quite that either. It is a book of meditations on life that can lead you to prayer. And I did find myself actually praying a number of times, simply pulled along by the flow.
It is for this reason that I describe the book as unique. It is a book of meditation/prayer/scripture all combined to form poetry. I wasn't expecting such a deep reading when I started the book, but now I am glad to have read it - and gladder still that it is the kind of book I can come back to again and again as I go through life.
So thank you.
Thank you Aunty Dudu.