A devotional poetry collection with a surprisingly refreshing voice.
DeAngelo’s collection of poems, prayers and meditations is not a book about how “spiritual” she is. Rather, it’s an ongoing exploration of faith in its purest, most desperate sense—reaching for something larger that must be there, even when there’s little evidence to support it. The poems span years of DeAngelo’s life, many of which were spent struggling with extraordinary physical and emotional trauma in the form of chronic illness, serious accidents, rape, divorce and more. The resulting poems are rarely ecstatic or even praise-heavy; many grapple directly with the “dark night of the soul,” seeking a greater truth in the face of confusion, doubt and conflict. Few of the poems rely on rhyme, and even fewer follow standard poetic forms, but throughout the collection, DeAngelo demonstrates a keen understanding of the rhythm and flow of language, as well as how its construction and placement on the page can contribute to and enhance meaning by focusing attention on certain words, phrases or expressions. Many of the written prayers follow the traditional format of a prose poem, preserving a sentence’s full structure while adopting poetic line and stanza breaks. These and the more condensed pieces share an ear for language, an eye for structure and a feel for language that cuts vividly to the core of the matter. The collection as a whole gives readers the sense that both it and the faith it expresses are works in progress, if not living beings in and of themselves. It’s a collection not only to savor, but to return to.
A nuanced exploration of faith with a clear sense of poetics.