In the Dark Before Dawn: New Selected Poems

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9780811216135: In the Dark Before Dawn: New Selected Poems

A new, broad, comprehensive view of the innovative poetry of the late, great Trappist monk and religious philosopher Thomas Merton. Poet, Trappist monk, religious philosopher, translator, social criticthe late Thomas Merton was all these things. Until now, no selection from his great body of poetry has afforded a comprehensive view of his varied and largely innovative work. In the Dark Before Dawn: New Selected Poems of Thomas Merton is not only double the size of Merton's earlier Selected Poems (1967), it also arranges his poetry thematically and chronologically, so that readers can follow the poet's multifarious interrelated lines of thought as well as his poetic development over the decades, from his college days in the 1930s to his untimely accidental death in Bangkok in 1968 during his personal Eastern pilgrimage. The selections are grouped under eight thematic headings"Geography's Landscapes," "Poems from the Monastery," "Poems of the Sacred," "Songs of Contemplation," "History's Voices: Past and Present," "Engaging the World," "On Being Human," "Merton and Other Languages."

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About the Author:

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) entered the Cistercian Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, following his conversion to Catholicism and was ordained Father M. Louis in 1949. During the 1960s, he was increasingly drawn into a dialogue between Eastern and Western religions and domestic issues of war and racism. In 1968, the Dalai Lama praised Merton for having a more profound knowledge of Buddhism than any other Christian he had known. Thomas Merton is the author of the beloved classic The Seven Storey Mountain.

Kathleen Norris is the author of Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, The Cloister Walk, and Amazing Grace.


A rich and generous gathering that enables the reader to get a good feel for Merton's themes. -- Christianity and Literature, Patrick F. O'Connell

A treasury of poetry by an extraordinary human being. -- The Catholic Observer, Lorraine Lauzon

Helps us tap into the complexity and mystery of Thomas Merton. -- America, James S. Torrens, 9 May 2005

I will treasure In the Dark Before Dawn as part of my growing Merton collection. -- Traditional Yoga Studies Interactive, Georg Feuerstein, 5 May 2005

In The Dawn Before Dark, we get a sustained taste of Merton at his most evocative. -- Pacific Rim Review of Books, Ron Dart

Readers...will be delighted by...this generous, thematically and chronologically arranged selection. -- American Poet

There is almost no one in contemporary American poetry who sounds like Thomas Merton. -- Boston Review, Jennifer Grotz

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