Wounded Angels (Poems)
Blissfool Press (UK), 978-0956237200, 2009
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These poems are aware of how, simply by living, we hurt our fellow creatures…how, by living in the collaterally murderous mammon-driven consumerism we’ve inherited and continue to create, we’re complicit in it. This is the hurt centre of the book, but it makes possible the strength. The book opens with dreams — the happy dreams of boys, and the backward dreams of old men, remembering. There are adventures with Navajo Indians, memories of father fly fishing, literally and imaginatively. There’s a whole lifetime in this book — really several lifetimes; and Beauty, one of the three great Platonic attributes of God, along with goodness and truth.– Herbert Lomas, English poet, translator, and critic
Murray Bodo?s latest collection takes its title from the Hugo Simberg painting “The Wounded Angel”. This picture (reproduced on the book’s cover) shows two boys carrying a stretcher on which sits an angel with bandaged head and damaged wings. Bodo calls his book Wounded Angels, using the plural probably because he wants to explore the everyday hurts all his readers have experienced–and probably inflicted. It is also fitting that children appear in the picture, because Bodo uses part of the book to reflect on his own childhood.
Murray Bodo is a Franciscan priest and also a professor of English in Cincinnati. His poetry may not have been very well known in the UK before Blissfool Books launched Wounded Angels but in fact he has many publications in the USA including a best-selling book on St Francis. His Christian faith clearly informs his poetry; but it is important to say that the poems do not insist on the reader sharing his faith. He writes with compassion, humour and humanity about everyday life and experience.– Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, London Grip
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