Today's poem is "Before Her Death"
from The Raindrop's Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome and St. Paula

Elixir Press

Maurya Simon has published eight poetry volumes, including Ghost Orchid, a 2004 National Book Award nominee, and Cartographies, published in October 2008. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright/Indo-American Foundation, and the American Academy in Rome. She has also been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators (Sweden), and Hawthornden Castle (Scotland). Her poems have been translated into Spanish, Farsi, French, Bengali, and Rumanian. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside.

Other poems by Maurya Simon in Verse Daily:
February 25, 2006:   "Brackets Make a Racket" " [because even silence disrupts silence]..."
April 8, 2004:  "Enough" "Heaven has enough windows for everyone..."
March 23, 2004:  "Transubstantiation" "First the high road, then a bend..."
June 5, 2003:  "Hieronymus and the Lion" "Legends grow slowly and askant the truth..."

Books by Maurya Simon:

Other poems on the web by Maurya Simon:
Two poems
"Russell Market"
"Ars Poetica"

About The Raindrop's Gospel: The Trials of St. Jerome and St. Paula:

"In these poems that hover somewhere between the lyric and the narrative, between aubade and the troubadour's song and the griot's incantatory orature, between Virgil's joy and Horace's reasoned arguments, Simon charts a path of transformation and possibility, where the true redemption is the realization that all love is light. This baptism is for the soul to accept that the body will be divine but only on its own terms, and this is not shame, this is not sin. Scholars of American literature will hear all the echoes of Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter' and its cautionary note, one that Chaucer sounds against Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress' the caution, relevant in our times, is that the idea of purity, and any attempts to force it, is the true tyranny. In this way, Simon's book echoes the message that has been spooling through history every time the profane and the divine collide; a ripple across the soul's calm."
—Chris Abani

"Employing a vast array of scholarship in the service of her own brilliant historical imagination, Maurya Simon offers in The Raindrop's Gospel an ingenious reconstruction of the love story of St. Jerome and St. Paula. Human in their saintliness, agonizingly saintly in their humanness, Jerome and Paula emerge in this beautifully crafted verse novel as fully realized erotic, spiritual, and intellectual beings, all the more passionate for their struggles against passion. Simon's poetic gifts—sensuous language, dazzling imagery and figures, and a variously textured lyricism—are perfectly suited to this unforgettable tale of love's body and loves soul."
—B.H. Fairchild

"This wonderful verse novel leads us through the deserts of St. Jerome's erotic denials and tempts up with his greatest of sins. These poems explore what he felt as he agonized over how to punctuate the Vulgate bible and how to keep his thoughts pure. Simon shows us precision can be excruciatingly sensual and denial can be supremely erotic. The Raindrop's Gospel compels us with a powerful combination of dramatic momentum and lyrical intensity. Move over St. Theresa, Christianity has a new model for ecstatic passions."
—Jay Snodgrass

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