Poems: Dawn | What We Are | Mid-Air

Critical Commentary

Blurb for my collection Sermon Series:

Stephanie Harper's Sermon Series offers a respite from the fast-paced cacophony of our world: brief, meditative poems of searching, fully open to delight.  This is a pilgrimage of details mined from the natural world, and the private landscape of the speaker's soul.  Harper offers that oft-forgotten but vital ingredient of prayer and the sacred experience: listening born of silence.  A sermon, like the best sacred poetry, is a vehicle of preaching.  In the words of priest and poet, Thomas Merton, "Preaching God implies silence. If preaching is not born of silence, it is a waste of time."  In Sermon Series, one can feel the poet listening between her words, as in the collection's final poem: "with quiet purpose, the way a steady stream (glides) over smoothly faceted stone." This is perhaps the best gift of the collection: it makes the reader listen, too.