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September 15 , 2010

Wild Poets of Ecstasy


The ecstatic poetic tradition connects many cultures and also reaches across vast stretches of time, influencing a considerable number of poets throughout history. Wild Poets of Ecstasy broadly represents this tradition, bringing together ancient and modern poetry from the world's literary treasuries. Containing poems from over 100 secular and religious writers, this anthology is a sustained celebration of human beings in their best moments-"the soul at the white heat," to use Emily Dickinson's line. The selections praise the goodness of life, the abundance of nature, and the intimate interrelation of the whole cosmos. They also affirm the value of happiness, human connections, festivities, sexuality, and relatedness to the divine. Wild Poets of Ecstasy generously offers a cornucopia of poems depicting peak states of being and positive, life-affirming emotions, such as serenity, awe, wonder, rapture, gratitude, and love. In an insightful and compellingly readable introduction, D.J. Moores accounts for the enduring appeal of ecstatic verse in a cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary discussion of ecstasy in its many contexts. Ecstasy is relevant not only as a valuable psychological state but also as a major social issue, an interesting historical problem, and the informing spirit of the arts and religion. The ecstatic tradition, as he demonstrates, haunts the contemporary era as the specter of human fulfillment.
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