Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Writing Religious Poetry and the Case of Frank Samperi

I have received permission to post this article that Peter O'Leary wrote on my father by
University of St.Thomas on my blog. Please view the whole article to the right under permanent pages.

O'Leary, Peter, 1968-


Reversion and the Turning Thither: Writing Religious Poetry and the Case of Frank Samperi
Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture - Volume 7, Number 2, Spring 2004, pp. 54-85

University of St. Thomas

Peter O'Leary - Reversion and the Turning Thither: Writing Religious Poetry and the Case of Frank Samperi - Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 7:2 Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture 7.2 (2004) 54-85 Reversion and the Turning Thither: Writing Religious Poetry and the Case of Frank Samperi Peter O'Leary Idcirco accidit ut, quantum illos proximius imitemur, tantum rectius poetemur. Unde nos doctrine operi intendentes, doctrinatas eorum poetrias emulari oportet. Dante, de Vulgare Eloquentia, II.4 Thus it comes about that, the more closely we try to imitate the great poets, the more correctly we write poetry. So, since I am trying to write a theoretical work about poetry, it behoves me to emulate their learned works of poetic doctrine. Translated by Steven Botteril Emulation What is at stake in choosing to be a religious poet? We find the strengths and weaknesses, the glories and the failures of this decision in the case of Frank Samperi, an obscure, experimental American poet of the twentieth century who wrote out of an explicitly Roman Catholic vision of the universe. The challenge of reading Frank Samperi's poetry is the challenge of reading religious poetry. Is Samperi a poet of vision, of singular insight? Or is individual vision antithetical to the doctrine he emulates in his poetry? In the Western tradition, when we think of great religious poetry, we think of Dante, Milton, Blake. Each is a poet of vision, of singular...
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