John F. Deane and James Harpur have devoted their lives to writing about the mysteries of existence and the divine. This selection of their poems displays how each poet has probed and described his journey in search of ultimate truth.
In setting the poets side by side, this volume also highlights the two main faith traditions of the West: Deane with his Roman Catholic background, rooted in the landscape of Mayo; and Harpur with his Protestant (Church of Ireland and Quaker) heritage, influenced by myth, medieval history and mystics. Their two approaches to everyday life and ultimate reality – including nature, saints and mystics, music, art, prayer, and issues of faith and doubt – combine to make a single volume full of lyrical beauty and powerful witness. In addition, an afterword consisting of an informal dialogue between the two poets complements in prose the themes their poems explore. This is a book to challenge, console, delight and make its readers think again about their own journeys through this “vale of soul-making”