Days and nights pass and ages bloom and fade like flowers. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Ambition and Survival is a collection of stirring personal essays and critical prose on a wide range of subjects: If there is any energy in this stanza, it dwells in the mildly humorous, willfully blunt metaphor of death two or three times removed. Christian Wiman is a poet and essayist who has taught at Stanford University and Lynchburg College; his work has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, the London Review of Books , and elsewhere. I hear my father calling me from what seems a great distance.

I loved the essays – saw myself and my family in the southern roots, the distances that can exist between the closest people. He does not yet inhabit that continuous present that precludes remorse, but already he is all impulse and action, whereas I am increasingly deliberate, increasingly interior. It is about Christian Wiman and the meaning of poetry in his life, which in the end is the same as the meaning of life. He and my mother are at the edge of what will be a nasty, protracted, ruinous divorce in which their children will be used as weapons. Lest we reach for Simon and Garfunkel, this particular sound of silence is not associated with being voiceless or suppressed.

You can see whole careers stained with it. Theatrics, that gun aimed at my parents more than myself, with a kind of calculated malice that, twenty years later, makes me wince.

Love, loss, and the limits of poetry: ‘Once in the West’ travels through suffering to faith

In he became editor of the oldest American magazine of verse, Chrjstian. Wiman claims that he’s not a formalist, but I don’t think he’s fooling anyone but himself. Apr 06, Donald rated it it was amazing. It is by no means the only pleasure, or utility, of his prose writings.


I feel like I can only take the weight in her writing for so long, and then I have to go find something a little tne optimistic.

I have no illusions about adding to sophisticated theological thinking. I want to stick to the fact Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Iwman there one idea that your new essay collection was born out of, one idea you wanted to explore? I am moved by the way he undermines the typically facile understanding of creation by many Christians, describing a return to his faith that occurs because of the created world and the creatures in it, rather than in spite of them.

We were fundamentalist when I was growing up, but now my mother describes herself as a charismatic evangelical. I’ve never heard of anybody liking Eliot this much.

Surviving the Silence: On a Long Poem by Christian Wiman

He is all right. Aug 03, James Smith marked it as to-read.

christian wiman essay the limit

There are numerous insights into our modern world. Apr 27, Eric rated it really liked it. The book also was a nice expansion of my vocabulary-having limig copy of Oxford English Dictionary on my table was a real plus.


Bookslut | An Interview with Christian Wiman

Would you call yourself a Christian? At the same time, they make his subsequent attempts at raw sincerity less didactic and more credible than they otherwise might have been.

With Wiman it is teeter-totter roulette and he is playing for keeps. As for how my own return happened, frankly I was simply overwhelmed. It was a lot of work for me, and Wimn often felt kind of bogged down when reading it.

Jan 08, Tamara Murphy rated it really liked it.

christian wiman essay the limit

Were you raised religious yourself? This is an enriching book.

christian wiman essay the limit

Several lines on, the start of the next stanza enacts another repetition: I began to read this in a library copy, but found so many things I wanted to highlight that I bought the Kindle version. His shorter lines alternatively undercut or underscore his more effusive passages.

I hit him squarely hhe the eyes, much harder than he hit me. His words make my head dizzy and compels me to think about his work in relation to my own.

The limit | Harper’s Magazine

We stop just inside the door, side by side. Now that I have a Kindle version I’ll go back and read sections again. When you taught, is that something you told your own students? Sometimes I simply don’t know what he’s saying.