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A Little Book of Hours
ISBN: 978 1 857549 70 6
Categories: 21st Century, Catholic, Irish
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: October 2008
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Here, I thought, is where you must be,
this inland island, hospitium of trees and shrubbery,
low hills and heathland walks, blackbirds and silence; here
I will find you, God Incarnate…
from ‘A Little Book of Hours' by John F. Deane
A Little Book of Hours takes as its starting points John Donne’s ‘No man is an island’ and St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: ‘For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ’.
In a series of linked sequences, John F. Deane explores the meanings of ‘The Jesus Body, the Jesus Bones’, how each human being shares in a coherent universe in our world broken by wars and violence. Beginning with the simplicities of island life, the book turns to the politics of greed. King David, psalmist and warmonger, stands at the centre of the book, in passages that look at humanity’s destructiveness and creativity. Taking its cue from the Psalms, the book concludes with journeys in search of truth and meaning, and a meditation on guilt and innocence. A Little Book of Hours is Deane’s deepest exploration of the relevance of Christianity to our times. His music praises the beauty of wholeness in the world and mourns what is broken.
Cover painting: Harvest Light (1991) by Tony O’Malley, reproduced by kind permission of Jane O’Malley. Cover design by StephenRaw.com.
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