The Poets' Jesus, by Peggy Rosenthal

Edwin Mims published The Christ of the Poets, an examination of images of Christ in English and American poetry, more than 50 years ago. The subject has not been touched by critics since that time, so Peggy Rosenthal's book, which attempts to fill in the gaps of a half century and also to reflect current multicultural interests, deserves special commendation. Rosenthal's range is ambitious. Her sweeping opening chapter covers the first 18 centuries of poetic interest in Jesus, stopping to pay particular attention to the fourth-century Syriac poet Ephrem and his remarkable nativity hymns, whose reference to Jesus as mother predates by eight centuries Julian of Norwich's use of the metaphor.


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