Light at the Torn Horizon
By Paul Murray

There is a fresh candor and a new ease of utterance in this fifth volume of poems by the Dominican writer Paul Murray. What most immediately impresses, in lyric after lyric, are the moments of quiet epiphany. But such moments of vision have not been easily achieved. Throughout the work, rather than avoid the “torn” and wounded areas of our lives, a range of feelings and experiences—unnamed, invading, threatening, desired—are courageously explored. In the end, the vision, the spiritual awareness that is attained, is the more persuasive and convincing for having first been tested.
Author: Paul Murray
ISBN: 9781685780258
Binding: Paperback
Page Count: 112
Publisher: Word on Fire
Dimensions: 6x9
Language: English
Release Date: 2022-04-19


A Reading

I. The Shaken Branches


The Question
The Dying Poet
De la Musique
The Origins
In the Forest
The Walk

II. Look, There Is the Shore!

The Voice
The Flourishing Shrub
The Believers
A Winter Story
Light Remembered

III. The Wound of Longing

Noli me Tangere
Diving Hide and Seek
O Merciful One
In the Future
Words of the Mystics
Lines for the Afflicted
Impossible Words

IV. Days and Hours

The Choice
The Green Man
The Seeker
On Emptiness
To the Hidden God
The Hours
The Silence
The Visionaries of Non-Violence
The Failed Canticle
On Hayling Island
Day to Day
Finishing a Poem
Days and Hours
Rilke's Imperative
The Animals' Messiah
Diogenes of Dublin
The Theatre of Joy 
Canticle in Praise of Punctuation

V. Into the Light

Hope Against Hope

Words for Siún
The Awakening
To a Friend Dying
Seeing the Waterfall
Address to the Lions
At the Edge
Night Song
Five Disguises of the Soul
Green Music
The Lost Time

Paul Murray’s poetry is something very rare in literature: absolutely authentic, visionary, and consoling. Some of the subjects that he contemplates are innocence, memory, prayer, woundedness, grief, and divine joy. He takes us on a journey of brokenness and wholeness, unswerving in his scrutiny of darkness, but always—in breathtaking ways—showing us flashes of hope and insight that are lit with the presence of the divine and conveyed with disarming simplicity. This is a book to reach for in times of both tranquility and turbulence.

— Sally Read

Author of Night's Bright Darkness 

Paul Murray is doing something rare and unsparing: in these poems, he is drawing from the deep sources of the Christian creative tradition confidently and without anxiety or apology, so that that tradition, and the spirit which animates it, feels just a hand’s-breadth away.

— Paul Elie

Author of The Life You Save May Be Your Own and Reinventing Bach

Fr. Paul Murray’s Light at the Torn Horizon has turned out to be a rare gift I had not expected. Reading these poems, poring over their beautiful clarity and humility, has been like meeting a soulmate—a Virgil, a Dante—on the journey toward that Light, conversing with words that crack open and sparkle with the divine Word.

— Paul Mariani

author of The Mystery of It All: The Vocation of Poetry in the Twilight of Modernity

In this new volume, in poem after poem, Paul Murray stands before the world, at once attentive to the raw and befuddled human condition and the intimations of wisdom that come, like music and mystery, to draw us toward the real. At times echoing the Eliot of Four Quartets, these poems call on us to return to the wonder in which every life begins.

— James Matthew Wilson

author of The Strangeness of the Good, Including Quarantine Notebook

Reading Paul Murray’s poetry is like entertaining an archangel. Each poem in the collection announces a new incursion of the divine into the wounded world, offering us glimpses of beauty bodied forth in the most mundane objects, the everyday faces and places we encounter in our daily journey toward eternity. These are poems that celebrate and poems that save, sure poems, written by a seasoned poet confident in his voice and his vocation, a late collection wherein Murray repeatedly asks himself and joyfully answers the same question his master Rilke did: ‘And poet, what do you do?—I praise.’

— Angelo Alaimo O'Donnell

author of Andalusian Hours: Poems from the Porch of Flannery O’Connor