Poets and writers have long been inspired by the sacred literature of the world’s religions and faiths, with stories of wisdom, transformation, enlightenment, and salvation.
The word literature points us towards the high art of communicating ideas, feelings, beliefs and wisdom through writing, of thoughts made with letters. Poets are storytellers who use letters and language, myth and metaphor, as symbols to communicate with the world. The language they use may be both literal and emblematic, expressing the inexpressible and ineffable through images, narrative, emotion, and truth that open us up to the mystery of life.
Some of the greatest literature written across human history comes from the sacred scriptures and mythologies of the world; from the Hindu Mahabharata and Ramayana to the Bible’s Old and New Testament; the Celtic-Welsh Mabinogion and Celtic-Erin Cath Maige Tuired; Ancient Greek and Egyptian Mythology; or the Dhammapada and Heart Sutra of Buddhism. Our sacred scriptures and ancient mythologies hold the stories and narratives of our relationship with one another, the universe, and the Ultimate Divine Mystery of creation, with God. And the journey we take to free ourselves from the tyranny of our own minds, the struggle to see truly what is real and our own unique place in the world. Poetry helps us to believe and know that we are part of something greater than what we may imagine as our soul struggles to find meaning in this life, to know and be known by this greater mystery, and fully embrace our unlimited potential to love within creation.
Many of the poems in When Angels Are Born draw upon the spiritual traditions and language found in Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other contemplative wisdom traditions and faiths. Poetry as a language calls us into an intimate relationship with one another, the divine, and creation that is ultimately transforming; poetry is also a celebration of life, a call to live life fully with a full awareness of life’s value. My hope as a poet is that these poems will help the reader to see more clearly, to offer some clarity to your own vision of life and sense of self, and how your life, the self, the soul, or the human psyche are constantly changing and evolving through all your relationships, through love. And that life, your own life especially is indeed a divine gift of love, however, you may imagine the divine to be at work within the world, your world.
“The Lord bless thee and keep thee; the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” - Numbers 6:24-26 (21st Century King James Version)
The Afterword from ~ When Angels Are Born
Ron Starbuck is an author, poet, the Publisher-CEO of Saint Julian Press, and an Episcopalian.