In a fresh telling of biblical stories, William Baer takes us on a poetic journey through the Old and New Testament scriptures. These fifty-five masterfully rendered sonnets reflect a deep creative insight and symbolic significance that expands our appreciation and understanding of the familiar stories. Baer is a sonneteer at his very best in these unique and unforgettable poems.
These remarkable well-turned sonnets by William Baer are both faithful and fresh. They re-tell the old stories with an easy and lucid eloquence, often from surprising points of view, and always with a keen understanding.
The “hermeneutic of continuity” by which Pope Benedict wants to promote an uninterrupted tradition of excellence, should not be limited to the liturgy. It applies to all scholarship and art, including hymnody, metaphysical poetry, and spiritual writing. The poetry of William Baer is a distinguished example of this continuity and a model of how it should be done.
—Fr. George Rutler
William Baer has employed his renowned talent for writing immensely pleasurable lyric poetry both to honor God and to testify of His glory—as suggested by the collection’s guiding epigraph taken from Psalms 18:2: “Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei . . .” Following Davidic tradition, Psalter comprises a hymnal of gratitude for the grace of God, even in the midst of our troubled, secular age. In “Light of the World,” Baer reminds us that as “the hopeless darkness of the night” descends, there still shines the truthful way “through grace, through sacrifice, / into the luminescence of paradise.” Here is poetry of lasting truth, gathered into the most important book of religious verse since the posthumous publication of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s Poems a century ago.