Teaching the Soul to Speak
Tau Media, 9781619566293, 2020
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"In Teaching the Soul to Speak Father Murray Bodo lovingly assembles seventy-three finely tuned word-songs of body and soul in a musical exchange of lyrical intensity. Through the book’s five sections, Bodo explores the complexities of one’s existence, from a boy wishing to please a father during a hunting trip to the deterioration of our planet from global warming. Bodo’s poems are precise, inventive, at times pensive, and necessary. “Try not to see holes expand, / fear though we did not plan it / we’ll turn earth a red planet,” the speaker laments in “A Late Cosmology.” With melodic sensitivity for both the mortal and immortal, for both the human and nonhuman, Bodo creates a reflective lexis to discuss the emotions that each individual lays bare on their particular life’s pilgrimage. The Trappist monk Thomas Merton wrote, “A good poem induces an experience that could not be produced by any other combination of words.” This quintessential collection is such an experience for the contemporary reader."—Christopher P. Collins, author of My American Night
"The vision here is fascinating. To speak, the soul is entirely dependent on the body: the body’s words, natural rhythms, and–especially–song. In fact, the soul only truly speaks when ‘it becomes song.’"—Peggy Rosenthal in Close Reading, the official Slant Books blog. Read the article.