The Psalms have always functioned as a book of common prayer. But there is also a long history of turning to the Psalter as a sourcebook for poetry. It is not difficult to see why. Many of the psalms foreground the act of speech or song—the activity of utterance itself—as the chief end of everything that has breath.
One can’t quibble with the breadth and eclecticism of this volume, which anthologizes poets as different as Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot and Allen Ginsberg. In the book Bloom pushes the limits of what can be considered religious or spiritual, since he includes agnostic voices.