Only eternal life is worthy of the name, writes Kilian McDonnell, O.S.B., in an elegy for a brother monk, and in his poetry one feels the working out of this life that begins with Adam and proceeds beyond our own span of time on earth. These poems breathe human air, but are always conscious of the larger picture of life in Christ.
I wrestle with God 'flesh to flesh, sweat to mystery, ' and I limp away. This is how Father McDonnell describes his poetic project, and in these poems the reader attends a wrestling match of the highest order. He takes on the great themes of poetry: desire, mortality, love and age, brotherhood and God. Beginning with the figures of the Old and New Testament, he is aware of the human fallings', failings, and laughter in the stories as of what they say about God with us. Engaging with the events of our day, the great physical world around us, the intricate world of human relationships, and the spiritual journey of a monk, the poems continuously reveal what it means to be human.
Kilian McDonnell, OSB, STD, is a priest, theologian, and monk of Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. His first book of poems, Swift, Lord, You Are Not, was published by Liturgical Press in 2003.