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The Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L'Engle [Hardcover]

By Madeleine L'Engle (Author)
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Item description for The Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L'Engle by Madeleine L'Engle...

A collection of nearly two hundred poems by the prolific writer, including eighteen never-before-published, weaves together intangible experiences, like grief and joy, with everyday events of life, such as bus rides and hospital visits, into vibrant patterns of truth and faith.

Publishers Description
Praise for The Ordering of Love
By Madeleine L'Engle

“In a brilliant marriage of myth and manner, histories sacred and profane, prayers of petition and of praise, these poems both articulate and illumine the trouble in the gap in which we live–the gap between human affections and Divine Love. L'Engle is unfailing in her willingness to see through–not around–human suffering, and in so doing announces no final severing of spirit and flesh but an enduring vision of resurrection in that crux, in the cross, in the One in Whom all things meet, continuing.”
–Scott Cairns, author of Slow Pilgrim and Philokalia: New and Selected Poems

“I love L'Engle's poetry for the way it incarnates not only the great Truths of the faith, but all the little truths of our ordinary existence–our working and playing and loving and fighting and dreaming and idling and all the rest of it–and for the way it shows us that those big and little truths should not, cannot, be separated.”
–Carolyn Arends, recording artist and author

“Why is L'Engle one of the defining poets of our time? Because when life hurts, she does not shrink from the wounds. She clarifies the murk with hope as we feel the lift of grace.”
–Calvin Miller, Beeson Divinity School
Birmingham, Alabama

“We are, all of us, the richer for this carefully crafted and prayerfully rendered collection.”
–Phyllis Tickle, Author, The Divine Hours

“Poetry, at least the kind I write, is written out of immediate need; it is written out of pain, joy, and experience too great to be borne until it is ordered into words. And then it is written to be shared.”
–Madeleine L'Engle

Madeleine L'Engle's writing has always translated the invisible and intricate qualities of love into the patterns and rhythms of visible life. Now, with compelling language and open-hearted vulnerability, The Ordering of Love brings together the exhaustive collection of L'Engle's poetry for the first time.

This volume collects nearly 200 of L'Engle's original poems, including eighteen that have never before been published. Reflecting on themes of love, loss, faith, and beauty, The Ordering of Love gives vivid and compelling insight into the language of the heart.
Madeleine L'Engle was the author of more than forty-five books for all ages, among them the beloved A Wrinkle in Time, awarded the Newbery Medal; A Ring of Endless Light, a Newbery Honor Book; A Swiftly Tilting Planet, winner of the American Book Award; and the Austin family series of which Troubling a Star is the fifth book. L'Engle was named the 1998 recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards award, honoring her lifetime contribution in writing for teens.

Ms. L'Engle was born in 1918 in New York City. She wrote her first book, The Small Rain, while touring with Eva Le Gallienne in Uncle Harry. She met Hugh Franklin, to whom she was married until his death in 1986, while they were rehearsing The Cherry Orchard, and they were married on tour during a run of The Joyous Season, starring Ethel Barrymore.

Ms. L'Engle retired from the stage after her marriage, and the Franklins moved to northwest Connecticut and opened a general store. After a decade in Connecticut, the family returned to New York.

After splitting her time between New York City and Connecticut and acting as the librarian and writer-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Madeleine L’Engle died on September 7, 2007 at the age of 88.

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Item Specifications...

Format: Deckle Edge
Studio: Shaw Books
Pages   354
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 5.25" Height: 7"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 15, 2005
Publisher   Shaw Books
ISBN  0877880867  
ISBN13  9780877880868  

Availability  0 units.

More About Madeleine L'Engle

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Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007) was the Newbery Medal-winning author of more than 60 books, including the much-loved A Wrinkle in Time. Born in 1918, L'Engle grew up in New York City, Switzerland, South Carolina and Massachusetts. Her father was a reporter and her mother had studied to be a pianist, and their house was always full of musicians and theater people. L'Engle graduated cum laude from Smith College, then returned to New York to work in the theater. While touring with a play, she wrote her first book, The Small Rain, originally published in 1945. She met her future husband, Hugh Franklin, when they both appeared in The Cherry Orchard.

Upon becoming Mrs. Franklin, L'Engle gave up the stage in favor of the typewriter. In the years her three children were growing up, she wrote four more novels. Hugh Franklin temporarily retired from the theater, and the family moved to western Connecticut and for ten years ran a general store. Her book Meet the Austins, an American Library Association Notable Children's Book of 1960, was based on this experience.

Her science fantasy classic A Wrinkle in Time was awarded the 1963 Newbery Medal. Two companion novels, A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet (a Newbery Honor book), complete what has come to be known as The Time Trilogy, a series that continues to grow in popularity with a new generation of readers. Her 1980 book A Ring of Endless Light won the Newbery Honor. L'Engle passed away in 2007 in Litchfield, Connecticut.

Madeleine L'Engle lived in New York City, in the state of New York. Madeleine L'Engle was born in 1918 and died in 2007.

Madeleine L'Engle has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Austin Family
  2. Crosswicks Journal
  3. Crosswicks Journal
  4. Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet
  5. Wheaton Literary
  6. Writers' Palette Book

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Inspirational & Religious
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Poetry > Single Authors > United States
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > 20th Century
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Poetry > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( L ) > L'Engle, Madeleine
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > Science, Faith & Evolution

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L'Engle?

Madeleine  Feb 8, 2008
This book is a wonderful compilation of many different poems. This is one of the only Christian poets I have ever read that I am able to enjoy (modern especially). She is honest and allows her own journey to pour into her writing with amazing depictions of the emotions she was feeling. We are in debt to Madeleine and lose out on her passing.
Vivid and compelling insight into the language of the heart  Apr 2, 2005
When my best friend, Jenn, moved to Manhattan she commenced with church shopping. She searched the island looking for the congregation that seemed best suited to her theological leanings and preference for worship style. Nice people were also a big plus. She landed at All Angels Episcopal Church on the Upper West Side, despite the fact that she hadn't fancied herself Anglican in the past. It's a great parish, and I'd like to think that the fact that I'd become involved in the Anglican church not long before she departed for Manhattan might have nudged her to check this one out. I would like to think that, but it would be wrong. Because I know the real reason Jenn is at All Angels --- Madeleine L'Engle.

Out on the church shopping circuit, rumor had it that the famed author was a long-time parishioner at All Angels and that fellow congregants often visited her since she didn't get out as much as in her younger days. The thought of whiling away hours chatting with L'Engle was more excitement than Jenn, book lover that she is, could bear. She took up residence in an All Angels pew (well, chair, they don't really have pews) post haste. In the years that followed she became an active member of the congregation, made friends, got confirmed, met her future husband, taught Sunday School, and got married --- all at All Angels. And she has Madeleine L'Engle to thank for all of that, despite the fact that she still has yet to meet the woman.

Such is the power of L'Engle. Trust me, if you'd read her work and had the potential opportunity to spend lazy afternoons in her company, you'd make your decisions on church membership accordingly as well.

Thankfully, the truth of the matter is that you don't have to trust me. L'Engle is nothing if not prolific with over fifty books --- fiction, nonfiction, and poetry --- to her credit. Her latest release is a collection of almost 200 poems, including 18 that have never been published before, and is an excellent starting place to acquaint or re-acquaint oneself with this potent literary force.

THE ORDERING OF LOVE is a magnum opus of sorts, spanning more than 30 years, from the mid '60s to the late '90s, and it includes everything from unbridled free verse to disciplined sonnets --- all of which tread the well-worn ground of love, faith, and suffering. In her introduction to the book, friend and fellow writer Luci Shaw notes "a good poem is layered, does not reveal itself all at once, in one reading." And, indeed, the understanding of these poems develops so much on subsequent readings that the words themselves seem to be ever-changing. One of my favorites is "The Birth of Love":

To learn to love
is to be stripped of all love
until you are wholly without love
until you have gone
naked and afraid
into this cold dark place
where all love is taken from you
you will not know
that you are wholly within love.

In poems like "Fire by Fire" one gets the distinct sense for L'Engle as an "everywoman" who writes about life as it happens and has a gift for seeing the whole spectrum of human experience in the seemingly mundane.

My son goes down in the orchard to incinerate
Burning the day's trash, the accumulation
Of old letters, empty toilet-paper rolls, a paper plate,
Marketing lists, discarded manuscript, on occasion
Used cartons of bird seed, dog biscuit. The fire
Rises and sinks; he stirs the ashes till the flames expire.

Burn, too, old sins, bedraggled virtues, tarnished
Dreams, remembered unrealities, the gross
Should-haves, would-haves, the unvarnished
Errors of the day, burn, burn the loss
Of intentions, recurring failures, turn
Them all to ash. Incinerate the dross. Burn. Burn.

L'Engle also has a very specific talent for turning the stories of Christianity on their heads and making us look at them in new ways. Her poem "Mrs. Noah Speaking" presents a perspective on the flood that we don't often hear but that sounds quite familiar. "The Ram: Caught in the Bush" tells the story of Abraham's almost sacrifice of Isaac from the point of view of the one who would actually go under the knife, conjuring up the image of Christ in the process.

If they ever do meet, I think Jenn and Madeleine L'Engle will get along quite well. Jenn has a knack for endearing herself to somewhat ornery souls and I suspect L'Engle is one, based on her work and the interviews I've read with her. Regardless, she has done her work in Jenn's life merely by living in the space of the written page. Even though Jenn hasn't stopped by at L'Engle's with fresh bagels from Zabar's, she has learned from L'Engle much about life --- the sometimes painful conundrum of faith, the ache of loss, the bliss of love, the assumption of small truths into the Big Truth of redemption --- on afternoons spent with her printed pages. And from a life as a member of All Angels, which she can thank L'Engle for as well.

--- Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel

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