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Music of the Sky
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Music of the Sky: An Anthology of Spiritual Poetry
Music of the Sky: An Anthology of Spiritual Poetry
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Comparative Religion

Price:  $16.95

ISBN:  0-941532-45-3
Book Size:  6" x 9"
# of Pages:  256
Language:  English


A collection of spiritual poetry from antiquity to the present, reflecting many styles and expressions of our experince of the sacred through the medium of poetry. All traditions will be represented, including the great world religions -- as well as those of hyperborean shamanism.

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Table of Contents
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Detailed Description of Music of the Sky

A collection of spiritual poetry from antiquity to the present, reflecting many styles and expressions of our experince of the sacred through the medium of poetry. All traditions will be represented, including the great world religions -- as well as those of hyperborean shamanism.

Organized into three universal dimensions of spiritual life, the awareness of suffering and death, the experience of the depth of compassion and love, and the knowledge of the unity of the transcendent and immanent Real, Music of the Sky collects short poems from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, and Native American traditions. Meant neither as an historical survey of spiritual poetry, nor as a definitive collection of essential poems, the reader may open this book at any page, at any time, in virtually any situation, traveling or at rest. The truth and beauty of these poems are certain to provide a source of inspiration for countless generations.

The short poems in this book reflect the spiritual insights of some of the greatest poets, saints, and sages known to Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, and Native American traditions. Their voices rise above the outward limitations of sect and creed into a single chorus affirming the deeply human need for the Sacred. The words of these poets underline the great and universal challenge of facing suffering and death, the boundless compassion and love which touches all life, and the knowledge and unity of the transcendent and immanent Real. This book is an inexhaustible well of light to carry along the way.

About the Author(s)

Patrick Laude

Patrick Laude is a writer, editor, professor, and researcher in the fields of language, literature, symbolism, and mysticism. He is a professor at Georgetown University, currently at their School of Foreign Service in Qatar. Laude's writings have been published in the US and Europe in numerous journals. Dr. Laude's extensive contributions to World Wisdom include:

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Reviews of Music of the Sky

"[This is] a work that is sure to enchant one who has reflected much on poetry's relation to the spirit, or one who merely enjoys the spiritual effects of the lyrical word.…These poets' words seek to remind readers of Truth, Reality, and Origin; they offer a path upon which the stones are symbols and the destination is home. Kabir laughs at us thirsty fish, swimming in the ocean of the Real. In our consciousness, we have seen death. In our pursuit, we have tasted life. Clinging desperately to one or both, we struggle through our lives, forgetting emptiness, forgetting what it is to be whole. Zen poet Dogen reminds us that this is what language forever expresses but does not bind. Music of the Sky expresses it beautifully, its leaves shining, reflecting pools of the heart."

—from a review in Sacred Web

“It is indeed a ‘jeweller’s eye’ which has strung together these pearls of illumination, rendered in poetic form.”

Banyen Books and Sound

"There are books one hardly has to open to know they are of highest quality. This is one of those treasure troves. One has to sit down, stop hurrying for a while and allow the music of noble souls to replace the noises of our electrified lives."

Frederick Franck, editor, author, artist, and humanitarian

"Music of the Sky…is a golden treasury of spiritual poems drawn from a variety of religious traditions and world-renowned poets. The selections are well chosen and represent religious diversity and yet reflect universal truths. If it is true that 'mystics of different religions speak the same language,' then this work proves the point. Where else would one find the great minds of the East and West brought together in a volume that can be easily read and treasured for its spiritual wealth?

This short volume compresses the longing of the human heart and its quest for wholeness. One is led to experience such emotions as angst, hope, faith, love, and union through the words for the great mystics of the world. It forces the reader to search in the deepest corner of his/her being to truthfully confront his/her own spiritual condition. Ultimately it inspires one to find solace in the bosom of the Eternal, the Absolute, the One.

It is a book that needs to be read, re-read, and read again and again."

Ishwar Harris, the College of Wooster, and author of The Laughing Buddha Of Tofukuji: The Life Of Zen Master Keido Fukushima

"Poetry is truly the language of the gods. The modern world has usurped and sentimentalized this spiritual media. It is wonderful to find in up to date collection that brings back the original purpose and meaning of this art form. One is grateful to those who have collected and presented to us this wonderful collectin that draws its sources, not only from the great traditions, but also from individuals who spontaneously speak to us of truth and beauty."

Rama Coomaraswamy, editor of The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

“The editors of this delightful and revealing volume have brought together a selection of religious poetry, rich in its variety. Drawing from many saints and sages from around the world, they enable us, at our leisure, to peer into the throbbing heart of the universal human spirit which yearns to know the source of its life and meaning.”

Alfred Bloom, author of Shinran's Gospel of Pure Grace, and editor of Living in Amida’s Universal Vow: Essays on Shin Buddhism

"Most poets write too much for not heeding the Muse who scants her treasures. But this collection of poems come from the Muse, most definitely. Each poem threatens to spark the noetic “Aha!” in the reader, who will see the world—and himself—suddenly from a newly enlightened perspective where the thrill of meaning and joy crystallize in deepest insight."

Mark Perry, author of On Awakening and Remembering: To Know Is to Be

Table of Contents for Music of the Sky

    Preface by Barry McDonald
    Introduction by Patrick Laude
    Song of the Ghost Dance— PAIUTE
    “Nothing lives long”—CHEYENNE
    You and I Shall Go—WINTU
    “All doctrines split asunder”—GIUN
    “Empty-handed I entered the world”—KOZAN ICHIKYO
    “The pure morning dew”— ISSA
    “Story on story of wonderful hills and stream”—HAN SHAN
    “Walking along a narrow path at the foot of a mountain”—RYOKAN
    “Eternal spring wind” —RENGETSU
    “Why bother with the world?”— RYUSHU
    “A dash of rain upon”—CHONG CH’OL
    “By the highway of Release I came”— LALLA YOGISHWARI
    “Mother! Mother! My boat sinks in the ocean of this world”— BENGALI HYMN
    “Because Thou lovest the Burning-ground”— BENGALI HYMN TO KALI
    “O mother, I have fallen in love”— AKKA MAHADEVI
    “You are kind, I am the pitiable one”— TULSIDAS
    “Guide this little boat”— MIRABAI
    “Don’t let go, hold on tight” —RABINDRANATH TAGORE
    “O now beneath your feet’s dust”— YUNUS EMRE
    “How many in this life can never”
    “If thou canst walk on water”— ANSARI
    “I died as mineral and became a plant”—RUMI
    “‘Needs must I tear them out,’ the peacock cried”
    “Old tent-maker, your body is a tent”— OMAR KHAYYAM
    “Last night I dropped and smashed my porcelain bowl”
    “I had supposed that, having passed away”— ABU’L-HUSAYN AL-NURI
    “As the Arab racer needs not the whip”— SHABISTARI
    “Even God must die, if He wishes to live for thee”— ANGELUS SILESIUS
    “The chosen angels and the blessed souls”— PETRARCH
    “I go my way regretting those past times”
    “What is our life? A play of passion”— SIR WALTER RALEIGH
    “O Years! and Age! Farewell”— ROBERT HERRICK
    “Death be not proud”— JOHN DONNE
    “When as Man’s life, the light of human lust” — FULKE GREVILLE, LORD BROOKE
    To His Watch, When He Could Not Sleep— EDWARD, LORD HERBERT OF CHERBURY
    “The expense of spirit in a waste of shame”— WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
    “The times are all so fearful!”— NOVALIS
    Because I Could Not Stop For Death— EMILY DICKINSON
    “O marvel! A garden amidst flames!”— IBN ‘ARABI
    Layla— AHMAD AL-‘ALAWI
    “The secret longings of a learned man”— OMAR KHAYYAM
    “A man knocked at the door of his beloved”— RUMI
    The Song of the Reed
    The Unseen Power
    “And this is love—”
    “Whatever I say, You are the subject”— YUNUS EMRE
    “Do you know, my friends, where the real saints are?”
    “Let the deaf listen to the mute”
    “Lady, rise and offer to the Name”— LALLA YOGISHWARI
    “‘Think not on the things that are without’”
    “He who utters the name of Shiva”— UTPALADEVA
    “Yogin, don’t go—”— MIRABAI
    “Binding my ankles with silver”
    “God of the silent soul”— RABINDRANATH TAGORE
    “On a dark night” — ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS
    “I cannot dance O Lord, unless Thou lead me”— MECHTHILD OF MAGDEBURG
    “Ah! God-loving soul! In thy struggles”— DANTE ALIGHIERI
    “As I rode out one day not long ago”— ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI
    Canticle of the Sun
    “Love and the noble heart are but one thing”— DANTE ALIGHIERI
    “With rejoicing mouth”— INCA
    “That our earth mother may wrap herself ”
    I Pass the Pipe— SIOUX
    “O Saichi, where is the Land of Bliss?”— SAICHI
    “Wind and air are two”
    “I am a happy man, indeed!”
    “Among all living things—”— IPPEN
    “The Buddha, in the causal stage” —TZ’U-MIN
    “Amidst the notes”— YOSANO AKIKO
    “If you’re looking for a place to rest”— HAN SHAN
    “Where gather mists and clouds, a happy world”— HUYNH SANH THONG
    “Today”— MORITAKE
    Prayer— JOHN DONNE
    “Batter my heart, three-personed God”— ROBERT HERRICK
    “Lord, I am like to Mistletoe”— FRIEDRICH HÖLDERLIN
    The Divine Image
    “When in hours of fear and failing”— NOVALIS
    Love’s Lord— EDWARD DOWDEN
    Who Knows Love— ELSA BARKER
    The Drink
    “This desert is the Good”— MEISTER ECKHART
    “Of the heavenly things God has shown me”— MECHTHILD OF MAGDEBURG
    “Eternal Wisdom builds”— ANGELUS SILESIUS
    “Lift up the cup and bowl, my darling one”— OMAR KHAYYAM
    “’Tis light makes color visible: at night”— RUMI
    “’Twas a fair orchard, full of trees and fruit”
    “Ask of all those who know”— YUNUS EMRE
    “On the narrow path of Truth”— SHABISTARI
    “In Being’s silver sea”
    “‘I’ and ‘you’ are but the lattices”
    “Ponder on God’s mercies”
    “Where I wander—You!”— LEVI YITZCHAK OF BERDITCHOV
    Hymn of Glory for the Sabbath— JUDAH HE-HASID
    Song to the Sun— ORTHA NAN GAIDHEAL
    Song— ESKIMO
    “In the beginning was God”— PYGMY
    “There in midnight water”— DOGEN
    “To what shall”
    “Attaining the heart”
    “Not limited”
    “At Kugami”— RYOKWAN
    Spring Cliff
    “The question clear, the answer deep”— SODO
    “For no reason it rains”— CHIN’GAK
    Full Moon— TU FU
    “Only this”— FENG KAN
    “Flowers not flowers, fog not fog”— PAI-CHU-I
    “One in All”—SENG-TS’AN
    “Sweetness is in sugar, sugar is in sweetness!”— KANAKADASA
    “Are you in illusion or is illusion in you?”
    “The pot is a god”— BASAVANNA
    “The river and its waves are one surf ”— KABIR
    “I laugh when I hear”
    “If Allah lives in a mosque”
    “Everything is pervaded by God!”— SADASIVA BRAHMENDRA
    “Lo! a Vision is before mine eyes”— LALLA YOGISHWARI
    “In a crack in the garden wall a flower”— RABINDRANATH TAGORE
    “I never saw a moor”— EMILY DICKINSON
    The Quest— EVA GORE-BOOTH
    Lost and Found— GEORGE MACDONALD
    Immanence— FRITHJOF SCHUON
    The Song

    Biographical Notes on Selected Poets
    Index of Author Names
    Index of Titles and First Lines of Poems
    Biographical Notes on the Editors

Excerpts from Music of the Sky

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night;
It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time;
It is the little shadow that runs across the grass
And loses itself in the sunset.
Chief Isapwo Muksika Crowfoot

Eternal spring wind,
I know you won’t be too rough
On the delicate
Branches and buds
Of the weeping willow.
Rengetsu, Lotus Moon: The Poetry of the Buddhist Nun Rengetsu

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