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The Place Within: The Poetry of Pope John Paul II

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The lyrical poetry of Pope John Paul II, available in paperback for the first time, to coincide with the papal visit to the U.S. this fall. In 1982, Random House released the Pope's Collected Poems; now Random House issues this volume in trade paperback, retitled The Place Within. The lyrical poetry of Pope John Paul II, available in paperback for the first time, to coincide with the papal visit to the U.S. this fall. In 1982, Random House released the Pope's Collected Poems; now Random House issues this volume in trade paperback, retitled The Place Within.


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The lyrical poetry of Pope John Paul II, available in paperback for the first time, to coincide with the papal visit to the U.S. this fall. In 1982, Random House released the Pope's Collected Poems; now Random House issues this volume in trade paperback, retitled The Place Within. The lyrical poetry of Pope John Paul II, available in paperback for the first time, to coincide with the papal visit to the U.S. this fall. In 1982, Random House released the Pope's Collected Poems; now Random House issues this volume in trade paperback, retitled The Place Within.

30 review for The Place Within: The Poetry of Pope John Paul II

  1. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    A collection of poetry worth owning, worth setting next to your Bible or in your prayer corner. The poetry reads more like reflections, wisps of impression. Many of the selections are short and can be tied to specific Scripture stories/people such as: Jacob; The Samaritan Woman; The Samaritan Woman Meditates; Simon of Cyrene; Her Amazement at Her Only Child; John Beseeches Her; First Moment of the Glorified Body; Magdalene, etc. Others are tied to places in the Holy Land or experiences of conver A collection of poetry worth owning, worth setting next to your Bible or in your prayer corner. The poetry reads more like reflections, wisps of impression. Many of the selections are short and can be tied to specific Scripture stories/people such as: Jacob; The Samaritan Woman; The Samaritan Woman Meditates; Simon of Cyrene; Her Amazement at Her Only Child; John Beseeches Her; First Moment of the Glorified Body; Magdalene, etc. Others are tied to places in the Holy Land or experiences of conversion. There are two longer "Songs of the Hidden God" which I read, but don't begin to claim I 'understood' in terms I could explain in a review. They are very personal and speak to the heart. I found myself lost in them at times, looking for the "You" with the capital "Y" because I knew that was God--which I rather expect was at least part of the objective of the poem if poetry can be said to have 'objective's. I think I may need to slow down a bit more the next time I try to read these particular selections. In fact the entire book invites the soul to step out of time and space and enter The Place Within where He dwells that He may speak and we may hear. Here is a selection from the title poem, The Place Within. It is located in the grouping, "Journey to Holy Places" so we may presume the Holy Father is probably writing about a visit to the place of Our Lord's execution and burial but he combines that with the even more meaningful and beautiful journey within the human body/heart/soul through Communion, prayer and our fiat. 'My place is in You, your place is in me. Yet it is the place of all men. And I am not diminished by them in this place. I am more alone--more than if there were no one else--I am alone with myself. At the same time I am multiplied by them in the Cross which stood on this place. This multiplying with no diminishing remains a mystery: the Cross goes against the current. In it numbers retreat before Man. In You--how did the Cross come to be? Now let us walk down the narrow steps as if down a tunnel through a wall. Those who once walked down the slope stopped at the place where now there is a slab. They anointed your body and then laid it in a tomb. Through your body you had a place on earth, the outward place of the body you exchanged for a place within, saying, "Take, all of you, and eat of this." The radiation of that place within relates to all the outward places on Earth to which I pilgrimage. You chose this place centuries ago--the place in which You give yourself and accept me.' 1965 Found this on a back bookshelf when I was searching for 'homes' for books and trying to straighten up for company coming for Christmas. A younger booklady must have bought this and then foolishly tucked it away for later? This is my Christmas present to myself!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sammy

    I have done a bit of reading on John Paul II (what a gift to have been a child in a world under the influence of this great man), and came across this collection of his poetry some time ago. I haven't read poetry for its own sake in ages, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity to better understand one of the most well-known and thoughtful saints of our time. The Place Within: The Poetry of Pope John Paul II features quite a few poems from JPII, some that stand on their own and others that reside I have done a bit of reading on John Paul II (what a gift to have been a child in a world under the influence of this great man), and came across this collection of his poetry some time ago. I haven't read poetry for its own sake in ages, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity to better understand one of the most well-known and thoughtful saints of our time. The Place Within: The Poetry of Pope John Paul II features quite a few poems from JPII, some that stand on their own and others that reside in related, mini-collections (such as a group of reflections he wrote about visiting the Holy Land). Each is beautiful and haunting. Having seen so many photographs of him with a happy face, particularly in his later years, we often forget that JPII endured great suffering in his lifetime. He lost virtually every member of his family to one cause of death or another at a young age; lived under Nazi rule and saw his home country of Poland -- a place and culture with profound meaning to him and his self-identity, as is revealed in many of these poems -- overrun by socialism; fought against many forces of evil and anti-Catholic thinking as layperson, priest, and pope; and endured many other more private struggles. And yet he produced some profoundly beautiful teachings for the Church (Theology of the Body, anyone?); forged faithful alliances with leaders from around the world; and was the type of humble that let him keep the nickname "Wujek" (Polish for "Uncle") even as one of the most famous and well-respected men on Earth. Can you or I imagine what went on in this great man's mind during his lifetime? Surely not. But his poetry provides some clues. No pope -- including JPII -- is perfect, of course. We are all fallen and broken creatures. Reading his poetry reveals the humanity and the struggles of the saint we now call John Paul the Great. They also give us invaluable insight into what was important to him, how he saw his faith and culture, and even how he prayed. Is all of his poetic technique pristine? Probably not. (Though I'm no expert there.) But like all art, what moves you is less the words' structure and more their expressiveness. They are certainly not lacking in the latter. I highly recommend this read to any Christian, Catholics in particular, and anyone interested in the historical prominence of Karol Józef Wojtyła. You are sure to learn a lot. I also recommend taking this one slowly. Like many poetry collections, it needn't be swiftly read from cover to cover. Give each poem and mini-collection a chance to marinate before you move on to the next. Then, once you've finished it all, refer back to your favorites often. (I know I will.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Josilyn

    A fascinating look at the poetry written by the man who would become St. Pope John Paul II. All these poems were written before he became Pope, and each is an amazingly stunning gem. Some warrant reading slowly and perhaps multiple reads, but I felt that this poetry gives an accessible look into the greatness of a truly exceptional mind.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Neecy Ayala

    LOVE this book ! Beautiful display of JPII’s poetry

  5. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Sometimes reading poetry feels like snooping in a private journal. This loosely organized collection, penned by the complex and influential beatified Pope John Paul II, is not to be missed. Though it is deeply religious, it also has beautiful and sensuous landscape descriptions, glimpses into Karol Wojtyla's innermost thoughts and impressions, vivid portraits of war-torn Poland, and meditations on God, humanity, life and death. It is both abstract and pinpoint specific and vivid. This collection Sometimes reading poetry feels like snooping in a private journal. This loosely organized collection, penned by the complex and influential beatified Pope John Paul II, is not to be missed. Though it is deeply religious, it also has beautiful and sensuous landscape descriptions, glimpses into Karol Wojtyla's innermost thoughts and impressions, vivid portraits of war-torn Poland, and meditations on God, humanity, life and death. It is both abstract and pinpoint specific and vivid. This collection is, overall, deeply and beautifully illustrative of Karol Wojtyla's faith. I read this book in a random fashion, often before bed - resulting in pleasant dreams and a sense of connection to the divine no doubt due to tapping into someone else's connection, perhaps more deeply experienced than my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristyn

    I am simultaneously reading this with a book with a book of Zen poetry, I find many echoes of one in the other. The act of poetry and reflection of the infinite in nature, beauty, and the stories of humanity is not limited to any one religion. This collection is reflective and tender, and the reflection builds to a love toward the subject of the poem, be it nature, the beauty of the Sistine Chapel, or the story of Abraham and Isaac.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rich

    If you like the Theology of the Body, this is required reading. This three part poem is TOB put in poetic form. Part I deals with creation and wonder, Part II speaks of Man, the Fall, and Judgment, aka "Historical Man", and Part III begins with speaking of Abraham, but it becomes apparent that the shift is made to the action of Christ giving himself. Short read, but beautiful reflections! If you like the Theology of the Body, this is required reading. This three part poem is TOB put in poetic form. Part I deals with creation and wonder, Part II speaks of Man, the Fall, and Judgment, aka "Historical Man", and Part III begins with speaking of Abraham, but it becomes apparent that the shift is made to the action of Christ giving himself. Short read, but beautiful reflections!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adi

    Lovely poems. I studied poetry and got my MFA in Creative Writing and this is legitimate poetry. Some might find it a little off putting because it may not "make sense" but it is deep and all poetry should be read several times over... Lovely poems. I studied poetry and got my MFA in Creative Writing and this is legitimate poetry. Some might find it a little off putting because it may not "make sense" but it is deep and all poetry should be read several times over...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Religion aside, I've always been drawn to Pope John Paul II. His poetry is creative and very expressive. I bought this book for my dad cuz he really liked this Pope, but I ended up reading it as well. Religion aside, I've always been drawn to Pope John Paul II. His poetry is creative and very expressive. I bought this book for my dad cuz he really liked this Pope, but I ended up reading it as well.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    one of the Totus Tuus team members we took out to dinner last weekend showed me this and asked if I had read it. Yes, I have! I love the poetry of John Paul II and I am tagging it here so I can go through it again this week and share with her my favorite two or three from this collection.

  11. 5 out of 5

    John

    PPE 5/28/08

  12. 4 out of 5

    Talia

    I'm not big into poetry, and this may even be really horrible as far as poetry goes, but I like picking this up every once in awhile and reading a poem or two! I'm not big into poetry, and this may even be really horrible as far as poetry goes, but I like picking this up every once in awhile and reading a poem or two!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Skylar Burris

    An uneven collection; some quite good; some that really struck me, others that left little impact. Makes good devotional reading.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jesus Jafari

    omnia nuda et aperta sunt ante oculos eius 🌹

  15. 4 out of 5

    Edie

    Very beautiful!

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Farel

  17. 5 out of 5

    Agata

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

  19. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Tarkelly

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nicky Orozco

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karissa Morton

  22. 5 out of 5

    Philip Cushing

  23. 4 out of 5

    ✨Matylda (Eida)✨

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Batacan alexander

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paula

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eric Freh

  28. 4 out of 5

    Regalia

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yerzyck

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