Where Wild Things Grow: A Review

I’ve been a lover of poetry since my father shared poetry with me as a child. I grew up in a home filled with it in various forms: song, scripture, verse, and place. The more I think about it, the more I realize how immersed my life has been in the rhythms of poetry, in its invitation to imagination, and to a way of seeing the world.

Early on in my life I was inspired by the poets of Latin America, especially Pablo Neruda, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Julia de Burgos, Jose Marti, Ruben Dario, and Octavio Paz. In the last 20 years, I’ve been blessed to add William Blake, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Langston Hughes, Wendell Berry, Mary Karr, Mary Oliver, and Christian Wiman. All have provided a point of view, all have inspired me to look at the created order in a new light, all have in some really powerful ways deepened my soul.

I am thankful to add teacher, mentor, and friend W. Craig Gilliam as another window & conversation partner to my journey through words and world.

11058644_10153492517579050_264163910835429953_nWhere Wild Things Grow is an invitation to pilgrimage, to pay attention, and to be present to the moment. From the very beginning, W. Craig Gilliam invites us to “break loose on the wind, soaring” so that we can experience that:

“We are sufficient for the day,
to love, to adventure
to go on the grand tour,
into another
today.” (97)

In a culture that is hurried Gilliam calls us to slow down as we live as a people “walking alongside,” as we make space for life with its wild weediness to transform us, connect us, and propel us into human flourishing. His poetically raw picture of what it means to be human allows all of us to enter into his poetry and see all encounters, all of life, as gift.

Poetry invites us to flourish in the midst of this beautiful and at times heart-breaking life. Gilliam faithfully takes us on this journey as many have before him and adds another voice to the human attempt at shining a light on the mysteries of being human in time, space, and place. This beautiful collection of poems is indeed for everyone, for we are all sojourners, all constantly “[o]n the edge of the forest where wild things grow.”
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Where Wild Things Grow is available today, order your copy here.

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