Prayer as poetry-poetry as prayer.
In Paul Herring's book, Letters of Ascent, he combines the two aspects in the striving for knowledge of the Lord in all that is around us and within us. Standard prayers as a way of understanding God may become so routine and ritualized that we no longer listen to the words or feel a connection to the meaning. Herring's collection of poetic prayer is poetry to be read in a prayerful fashion or prayer set to poetry. These contemplations are replete with passion, anger, illusion, historical references and intellectual wordplay. The reading of them, slowly and repeatedly, causes us to think upon the word of God, the plan of God and the force of God. They allow for a contemplative journey towards wisdom and understanding of the divine.
Some people do not need such a book. Prayers flow from within them without effort. Others are not aroused to take such a journey. But for those interested in the mystical ascent, Herring's collection of contemplations upon Scripture is a marvelous companion.
Lynn Mason Moses