Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
Makes an excellent Lent book
on 23 April 2014
This book concentrates on Thomas's God poems and it's interesting to have so many of them collected together. The book is designed as a pilgrimage, with a poem for each day of the year, a short suggestion of an imaginative or practical excercise that comes from the theme of the poem, and then a slightly longer reflection. There are no wasted words in either the poems or Jim Cotter's reflections. There is a pleasingly sparse feel to the book, with a poem to each left hand page, Cotter's words on the right, and much blank space inbetween, which fits exactly with the austerity of Thomas's poetry. Some simple line drawings and atmospheric black and white photographs of the coast around Aberdaron, where both Thomas and Cotter have served as priest, compliment the text.
After the poems, near the end of the book, there are two sections of questions; the first are some of the many questions found in Thomas's poems, and the second are questions asked by Jesus in the gospels. It is certainly striking to read both sections, and adds another dimension to the book. The questions of Jesus are a resource in themselves.
It would be ideal for use on a retreat, especially at the coast, but actually I read it at the furthest place from the sea in the UK, and it still worked well for me. Though the book is designed to be read over a year, I actually found it very useful as a Lent book; the simplicity of the design, the austerity of the poems, the direct nature and depth of Jim Cotter's further reflections, and the penetrating questions at the end, all go towards it being a deeply thought-provoking read. That Jim Cotter died during Holy Week 2014, just as I was completing it, made it seem even more poignant.