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A Music of Grace

The Sacred in Contemporary American Poetry


Jeanne Foster

In our mid-to-late twentieth century secular society, a most pressing theological question is, Where does the dimension of the sacred reside? The question is posed here through the poetic worlds of James Wright, Anne Sexton, and Galway Kinnell, each a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. In the midst of collapsing values, these poets express a longing for a lost world of meaning. The author shows how each attempts to re-vision and re-language the sacred without resort to traditional piety. Lawrence's process poetics and Whitehead's process theology shed light on the question of the sacred and the poetic response.