Poet, writer, artist, and designer Amy Bornman’s first book, There Is a Future: A Year of Daily Midrash, explores Scripture narratives through the lens of midrash. “Midrash,” Bornman reminds us, “is a practice in study and imagination.” The rabbinical tradition “honors the text by wondering about it.” As such, this book is her grand vehicle for traversing a year’s worth of wondering and wandering through the daily office lectionary within the framework of poems.
The poet read and wrote and pondered and wondered. Reading her poems, I did the same thing: read, wrote, pondered, wondered about God, Scriptures, and my own heart.
Bornman’s page-long poems created moments of sitting under the fig tree as Nathanael, watching Mary at the wedding at Cana, encountering flames at Pentecost, and wrestling with questions from Job as he contends with God. Facets of familiar passages glistened afresh. Conundrums and enigmas woven within Scripture tapped me on the shoulder, causing new thoughts to arise. As she says:
“the more I crack open the things
i sealed shut, the questions that
felt most dangerous…”
“…I feel myself
always returning to the last place
on earth i want to go.”
Poems slow us down, cause us to linger, form new images in our minds and hearts, and lead us to new territory. They say more with fewer words. What seems short and simple instead leaves us to meander among subtle beauty or wrangle among unexpected starkness.
Echoing the lyrical beauty of the Anglican liturgy and the depth of Cranmer’s collects in the ACNA 2019 Book of Common Prayer, the weight of each word in Bornman’s poems gives us much to lift up to God.
Insert these poems into your morning devotionals or evening prayers and let them become appetizers for the feast ahead as you enter God’s presence.
Offer them as you teach or preach or walk with another.
If you dare, write a poem or two of your own in a midrash fashion, allowing wonder to infuse your page and your thoughts.
This slender volume will stretch your imagination and your prayers as you encounter the questions that bring us all to the heart of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Discover more about Amy Bornman via her website: amybornman.com.
Lane Arnold savors being a spiritual director for women who are eager to go deeper to the heart of the Trinity, a writing coach for those lost in the maze of words, and an editor for those wanting their words to spark interest as well as sparkle. A writer and poet, she’s married to her high school sweetheart after being apart for 34 years. They delight over his-&-hers five grown children, their daughters-/sons-in laws, and seven of the best ever grandchildren. Lane’s never met a piece of dark chocolate she didn’t like. When possible, she’s strolling the shore in search of seashells and wonder. A member of Christ Church Anglican Savannah, she delights in liturgy, laughter, and lingering long with Jesus. Find her at lanemarnold.com, on Facebook at Lane M Arnold, and on Instagram at @lanepatina.