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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review of From Behind the Blind by Robert Murphy

Religious anthropology and ritual mystery, rare indeed in modern poetry, find expression in From Behind the Blind, an illuminating volume of poems and prose pieces by Robert Murphy. Throughout these writings the poet injects little packets of symbols or allusions, which, in turn, suggest worlds of mythic connections in a revealing, not an obscuring way. It occurred to me that I was reading passages from The Golden Bough by James George Frasier, only in miniature and lyrical forms.

Murphy’s introductory poem entitled Doxology sets the tone with an elegant and soaring hymn of praise. He neatly touches on the pagan god of earthly unity as well as the biblical “I am who am” god.  Murphy also introduces the cultural concept of dreamtime, which he elaborates on in subsequent poems. Here’s part of it,

 Sleep to wake to dream to hear

the great God Pan at play

upon his pipe, the wind

in the willows quicken where

never harm, nor fear on dread feet comes,

for I am always with you there.

 In the poem When the Dark as Night Appears Murphy reinforces his dreamtime realty. This illimitable universe lies just beyond the veil of daylight or wakefulness.  Using this interior consciousness we can discover ourselves or perhaps our God.  For more of my review of From Behind the Blind go here:   http://dougholder.blogspot.com/2013/04/from-behind-blind-by-robert-murphy.html

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