Dante said that at some point in a man's life he might
"savvy" woman -- so beautiful to his eyes -- that it might cause
the heart's slumbering lord (Amor) to stir and awaken. This is
apparently what happened to Dante -- who caught a glimpse of
Beatrice in his youth, and found that it perfumed his entire life.
Some seven centuries later, a similarly initiatory heart-awakening
stirs in Gary Rosenthal's The You That Is Everywhere, a collection
of ecstatic love poems that harkens back to the romantic sensibility
of this earlier time -- the high middle ages. This was not only the
time of Dante, but of Rumi, Hafiz, and the troubadours -- and a
time when the love of God and the love of a man or woman for
each other seemed to be closely linked.
At a time when love poems have become almost an endangered
species, The You That Is Everywhere is attracting attention for
being one of the few contemporary works that is a descendent of
the old, ecstatic, poetic tradition. A tradition where often the
personal beloved helps connect the poet up to his or her more
loving or ecstatic potential -- and then disappears -- leaving the
poet to grieve, whirl--or whatever it takes--in order to find his
or her way back to Love.
Fellow poet (and Zen Roshi ) John Tarrant, author
The Light Inside the Dark, has said of The You That Is Everywhere,
"this is what Zen has needed--to marry with the troubadour
tradition of ecstatic, romantic love."
David Whyte, author of The Heart Aroused: Poetry and
Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, concludes his
assessment of The You That Is Everywhere by writing,
"These poems are not only true to the intensity of one
man's deep love for a woman, but exhilarating for their
insight, humility, and humor. A remarkable literary
achievement and a gift to anyone who dimly remembers,
half anticipates, or heaven-forbid, is presently blessed by
the rigors of a passionate love."
Gary Rosenthal's The You That Is Everywhere is at
the same time
an auspicious poetic debut ~ as well as one of the few notable collections
of love poetry written during the past several decades. Passionately wise,
and possessing an astonishing immediacy, these sure-footed poems take
us on a journey of the Heart's awakening, a path previously trod by
Rumi, Dante, and the troubadours.
...a passionate outpouring of love, the poems drawing
inspiration from Dante, Rumi and medieval troubadours.
While expressive of a fine poetic sensibility, they are
also accessible, revealing a very human author who,
while tracing a story of earthly love and longing,
also encounters the Divine.
Morgan Van Wyck, Shambhala Sun
The book is a love-story ~ and has the timeless charm
of a modern classic. Anyone who has ever loved deeply
will recognize the territory. Buddhists and Sufis and
lovers of all persuasions are likely to be gifting each
other with The You That Is Everywhere for years and
years to come.
... Good stuff, lots of surprises, like finding a penny on the
ground and getting good luck for the day ~ an unexpected delight.
author of Fire In The Belly
A modern troubadour has arisen! Rejoice. Rumi lovers
and all who are immersed in passion's cycles. This book
'has to do with the heart, a river which rose unexpectedly,
and flooded my banks with poems'... Highly freeform,
modern language dances ruggedly across these pages,
flowing with infectious energy and ironic humor.
We transit attraction, lust, uncertainty, separation, grief,
and renewal in touching, humble, personal revelations...
stanzas that exude powerful perennial wisdom within robust
romance. Rich phrasings such as "Before I met you/ I didn't
know my heart was in exile" are intricately strung among
(other) pearls...and impossible attempts at understanding.
Intensely real, sincerely spirited. Wow!
Sandy Marshall, The NAPRA Review
More bologna sandwiches!
editor/translator of The Essential Rumi
... the psychologically astute and contemporary idiom
makes one think that if Rumi or Dante fell in love today,
their poetry might sound a little like this. I was left with
the sense that our current spiritual culture has finally
achieved a sufficient depth to have begun producing
some wisdom literature of its own.
Magical Blend magazine
The You That Is Everywhere debuts the romantic,
passionate, wise, intimate, and beautifully crafted
poetry of Gary Rosenthal. Rosenthal is a troubadour
of impressive romantic sensibility ...
The Midwest Book Review
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