Item description for Hallelujah: The Poetry of Classic Hymns by Richard Krepel...
By setting their doubts, hopes, and gratitude to song, the authors of classic hymns have comforted and guided people for centuries. From soulful spirituals pleading for release to heartfelt hymns of praise, HALLELUJAH pairs the poetry of our language's most beautiful and moving hymns with stunning artwork inspired by their words. From standards such as "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, ""Go Down, Moses, "and "Simple Gifts, "to less famous but equally lovely treasures, this selection spans centuries of hymns, spirituals, and carols from most Christian denominations. An introductory essay explores the ancient tradition of sacred poetry and the development of sacred song, from ancient Sumerian to early Christian Latin hymns, from Lutheran Reformation hymns to spirituals borne from slavery, and beyond. This collection reveals how the universal language of hymns allows them to cross denominations and create a brotherhood through words. HALLELUJAH is a glorious gift for everyone who cherishes spiritual poetry and enjoys reflecting on its meaning.
ANNA BURGARD is an editor, author, and designer of books for children and adults. Her work has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and in Publishers Weekly,/i>, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. She resides in Savannah, Georgia . RICHARD KREPEL is an award-winning illustrator whose work has graced the covers of numerous magazines. He is a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design.
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Studio: Celestial Arts
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.8" Width: 8.2" Height: 0.8" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2005
Publisher Celestial Arts
ISBN 1587612267 ISBN13 9781587612268
Reviews - What do customers think about Hallelujah: The Poetry of Classic Hymns?
Praises sing! Feb 19, 2008
It is startling to find a book that celebrates hymnody without including music. The close connection of word and note is intrinsic to most people's connection with hymns. Choosing to print only the words invites the reader to view these lyrics through a new and revealing lens. I am delighted that the publishing house was willing to take the risk of printing this book, because... ...from the preface by Carl Daw (one of the best of our contemporary hymn writers) through Anna Marlis Burgard's excellent introduction, through the amazing and evocative artwork by Richard Krepel, to the notes on each hymn selected, "Hallelujah" sings! While the book is filled with grand old favorites, it also includes some less well-known pieces including Anna Steele's "Thou Lovely Source of True Delight," Elizabeth Condor's "Even Me," and and Louisa May Alcott's "A Little Kingdom I Possess." I was also intrigued to find a hymn by Francis Scott Key. The art work is both challenging and beautiful. For instance, the illustration for "Every Time I Feel the Spirit" includes the train from v.3, but it seems to be moving through a Japanese landscape created from kimono fabrics. And "Descend from Heav'n" depicts not the expected dove, but a male figure, dressed like a worker, playing with the cosmos. I would have wished only two things: first, that there were more contemporary hymns and second, that there were more hymns by women. I would welcome (and happily purchase) a second volume that might fill in these gaps.
A gem of a book. Jan 11, 2006
This book is wonderful, a gem, and deceptive in its significance. Elegantly simple in its approach and breathtakingly successful in its execution, it works on all levels. I've known Anna Burgard, the editor and creative force behind this book, for over a decade, and have long been impressed by her abilities. She was the editor for my first book, and that experience served only to further imprint on me the depth of her intelligence, talent and counsel. There's a problem in having friends like Anna, though, in that the bar rises ever higher when it comes to the appeal "Dazzle me". So while I was looking forward to this book, I was cautious in signing off on her undertaking of a new and refreshing approach to a subject as old as Scripture. So much for what I know. The book is a compilation of hymns through the centuries; some well known, others less so, all worthy of inclusion. The text of the hymns are complemented by a narrative tracing the history of the time that influenced their writing, and anecdotal lines about each featured hymn. All of this is embellished by Richard Krepel's lyrical illustrations, so effortlessly superior to so much of today's loud and forgettable art. I had a number of interesting reactions to the book, and some surprising ones as well. Most curious was when I was about a quarter of the way through. I realized I was immersed in an experience quite rare today, participating in the enjoyment of something that may just turn out to be an instant classic. That's a pretty daring statement, so please indulge me. The phrase "instant classic" is not to be bandied about lightly. To qualify, something must meet special criteria. It should say something new about a subject about which you thought there's nothing left to be said. It should satisfy that delightful urge that almost never gets indulged these days - to see a great idea brought to fruition that's been hiding in plain sight, something waiting for someone to come along and put it together, after which everyone can stand around and say "It was obvious". And it helps when you find yourself thinking about it a long time after you've put it down. Hallelujah left that impression. One of the surprises I got with the book was something I can only describe as approaching transcendent. There's an feeling most can relate to that occurs sometimes when entering a house of worship, regardless of one's religious beliefs. Even I as a Jew have felt a sense of the spiritual when entering a cathedral, gazing up, and feeling the nearness of the Creator. Throughout history, regardless of culture and traditon, people have created myths, legends, and music to try and describe the indescribable, and understand that which cannot be completely understood. To that end, hymns have appeared as an important bridge to that reality. Starting as poetry, they have been coupled with music, and have earned a cherished place in our existence. Along the way though, we sometimes lose sight of the meaning of the words, especially when they're overtaken by powerful melodies in a setting rich with spiritual presence. The experience is not dissimilar to a classic rock tune like Stairway to Heaven, that one has heard for over a generation and is as familiar as one's own face, yet whose lyrics are still probably not completely known to all but the most die-hard of devotees. As I read Hallelujah, more specifically, when I finished Hark, the Herald Angels Sing on page 29, the true power of the book hit me. Stripped of its ubiquitous melody, away from the influence of chorus or church, accompanied by several compelling paragraphs on author Charles Wesley, and coming a page after one of Richard Krepel's soaring illustrations, the words conveyed their meaning in a way I had never realized before, the way they were intended to be taken before being overtaken by well-intentioned additions. Thus, this book is a worthy, and in fact, most necessary accompaniment to any set of CD's of hymns. The hymns are arranged chronologically, and each section begins with a history of the poetic mythology and writers of the time. It was a fascinating read. The sense of the spiritual struggle that each author underwent, as they tried to overcome the adversity that was unique to his or her time was as meaningful and enlightening as reading the words they had created. In today's image-hazed, MTV-laded stream of endless noise world we live in, it's easy to overlook the quiet power of meaning that has withstood the test of time. The imagery of the written word still has power to evoke and transform. I can think of no better present for anyone in this season, or any season for that matter. Like Harry Potter, which began quiet and under the radar, and which grew word of mouth, I've already seen this book begin to find a niche that very same way, and deservedly so. I fervently hope it continues.
Gorgeous Illustrations, well written Oct 26, 2005
This book is just a true delight. The illustrations give these glorious old hymns a fresh resonance. The writing is historically informative but interestingly handled. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves songs in general.
A book to be thankful for Oct 23, 2005
Scholarly yet warm, "Hallelujah" sets out to introduce the casual reader to the language of classic hymns and acheives it's goal admirably. What could be a dry exercise is in fact a gracious, gentle tour through the human voice of poetry and the nature of and need for devotion over 500 years. Burgard's notes and commentary are at once enlightening, entertaining and engaging. A lovely little book and here's hoping we hear a lot more from Burgard in the future.
The ultimate coffee table book because it will lift your spirits Sep 15, 2005
When I first heard about this book, to be honest I couldn't imagine reading it. But once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. Wow! Anna Burgard knows her hymnals and what will lift your spirit, restore hope to the hopeless, put a smile on your face and force your thoughts inward. I loved this book. It has wonderful art to accompany the entries and you just feel warmth and love from each page. If you only buy one book this year, this should be the one. Honestly, it can be so much fun. My daughter and I took turns reading the hymns out loud, and it was like being at a poetry set. I envision families across America sitting in a circle reading from Hallelujah. At the end, everyone will surely shout, "Hallelujah!"