An annotated innovation on the psalms of King David.

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Psalm of My Heart: Who We Are In Christ

A short, passionate “psalm” of one Christian’s personal faith.

During a boring day at her property-management job in 1996, Phelps decided to write out a “letter” to God that she’d long contemplated—a personal “psalm” that she typed up and filed away in a binder. Years later, on a sleepless night, she says that she heard God tell her to publish it, resulting in this quick little volume. The psalm itself is only 12 paragraphs long, a deeply personal and widely allusive statement of faith. It’s a collection of assertions of her certainty in the power of God and the mercy of Jesus Christ, typically conveyed in lines such as, “As I walk through life I walk in Christ Jesus, and I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” Phelps makes clear that although her work was an exercise in compositional inspiration, it was also grounded in years of textual study. In the book’s most interesting feature, she lays out a detailed chart of the textual influences on her work: “the Lord brought a picture to my mind of a cross reference,” she writes. “I thought of putting this into an excel format so that those reading it would know this isn’t just me talking, but the Holy Spirit.” Her fellow devout Christians are clearly her intended audience, and she offers them a brief discussion of the nature of Christian faith. She also has some intriguing, if underdeveloped, things to say about living a religious life (“At the end of the day, Christians aren’t “perfect”, just forgiven”) and traces her psalm’s terms, such as “Abba,” “Bride of Christ,” and “the Elect,” to precise Scriptural chapter and verse. The quotes are sometimes-extensive, and the chart itself is a fascinating work of reference; it’s similar to those found in some Bible concordances but superior to most of them in its quote-selection skill. Bible-study groups may get through the psalm itself fairly quickly, but the chart will give them hours of fruitful work.

An annotated innovation on the psalms of King David.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-145753-935-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dog Ear

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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