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Sonnets of the Cross: The Via Dolorosa: A Heroic Crown of Sonnets on the Stations of the Cross Kindle Edition
"John McDonough's sonnets employ a rare and difficult verse form, the heroic crown of sonnets, to offer a moving contemporary perspective on the traditional Catholic devotion of the Way of the Cross. The rich language and evocative drawings invite us to reflect on the Passion of Christ, and on the constant presence of sin and grace in our own lives."
---Father Michael G. Ryan, St. James Cathedral, Seattle
Printed version! http://amzn.com/1482602407
These moving and beautiful Stations of the Cross were created in the form of a Heroic Crown of Sonnets. The Heroic Crown of Sonnets is a challenging type of poetry. The first line of each sonnet is tied to the last line of the preceding sonnet. The fifteenth sonnet consists of the first line of each of the proceeding fourteen sonnets. The accompanying art adds a moving visual dimension.
The poet, who has personally walked the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, has a powerful ability to make profound connections between key social justice issues of today and the suffering experienced by Jesus Christ. Drawing from life experiences to which many can relate, he presents some of the most moving meditations on the Stations that you will ever read, making the stations and Christ's journey compelling for readers today.
The sonnets reflect and meditate on themes in response to Christ's life that resonate with themes we have heard voiced by our beloved new Pope Francis. They comfort those who are mourning loss: loss of life, loss of strength and ability in a family member, the loss of faith in our world when we witness blatant and overpowering injustice, by drawing parallels to Christ's suffering, and the suffering of the people and family who witnessed this. How painful it is when those we love grow weak and fall, when those we love are treated unjustly.
"A Pieta in Poetic Form"
The author portrays the deeply felt suffering of Jesus' mother Virgin Mary in ways emotionally evocative of the Pieta. Jesus' love for the women who witnessed his walk to the crucifixion shines through as well as his gentle but painful acceptance of his fate. We see Mary as a mother who must endure watching her beloved son's death, and the compassionate Christ feeling her grief more sharply than His own. A 91-year old recent widow, who lost a son years ago to a tragic accident, commented "I just completed reading the sonnets of the Cross, and I am blown away by the depth and beauty of them. I will read them every day of Lent."
The illustrations evoke a rare depth of emotion, a connection to the space and time that brings us into the scene. They were created for this book by David McDonough, the author's brother, who is a Vietnam veteran, and an accomplished artist living in Longview, WA.
The Sonnets add a new, evocative, and compassionate perspective to your experience of walking with Jesus on the road to Calvary. Please look at the printed version too.
(Note: the author teaches religion at De La Salle, the school that is featured in "When The Game Stands Tall".)
--Father Michael G. Ryan,
St. James Cathedral, Seattle.
"Through his poetry and words, John McDonough has the unique gift of reconciling the redemptive gifts of God with the trials associated with the human condition. His words are transforming and powerful beyond measure."
Religious Studies Instructor, Football Coach,
De La Salle High School, Concord, CA.
". . . Read this work--then come back to it and read it again, for you will discover something new each time."
--Joseph T. Carrieres,
Author and Philosopher.
From the Back Cover
- ASIN : B00BGL68CG
- Publisher : Virtual-Paper.com; 2nd edition (December 11, 2013)
- Publication date : December 11, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 1646 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 44 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1482602407
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,717,510 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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John McDonough's "Sonnets of the Cross: The Via Dolorosa" is an extraordinary reflection on Jesus' final hours which is organized around the traditional Stations of the Cross, yet is expressed in a literary form which is rare and complex. While most people have some familiarity with sonnets, particularly as utilized by Shakespeare, Mr. McDonough chose to use the "Heroic Crown of Sonnets" as the vehicle for his work. The Heroic Crown of Sonnets is composed of 15 sonnets, each of which follows the specific format and rhythm of that form of poetry, but which are also interconnected in a particular manner. Each sonnet opens with the final line from the preceding sonnet and the final sonnet is a synthesis of each of those lines. On top of the exceedingly difficult task of combining these elements, the author also wove an acrostic into the final sonnet--reading down the first letter of each line, one finds the theme of the work--"The Via Dolorosa."
Yet as well as Mr. McDonough mastered the technical aspects of his work, it is the imagery evoked through his language which is most compelling. Who among us cannot relate to the agony of a mother who watches helplessly as her son is led to a brutal death which he in no way deserves? Do we all not falter and fall at times in life under the burdens of sorrows and miseries which threaten to overwhelm us? In our darkest hours, we also find ourselves with the words of Jesus on our lips: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
The work ends not with the triumph of the Resurrection, but with the hope for it--and even the uncertainty and doubt that assailed Jesus' closest followers:
As heaven holds your breath
we breathless wait.
The Catholic tradition not only proclaims the joy and triumph of the Resurrection, it also embraces and reflects on everyday human experience, including the sorrows that are woven into the very fabric of our lives--and a God who loves those He created to such an extent that he entered into human history to draw us to Himself. Read this work--then come back to it and read it again, for you will discover something new each time.
I was also not prepared for the author’s ability to tell this story so beautifully. McDonough depicts compelling and vivid scenes of each station, and illustrates the conflicts and emotions of this journey. In doing so, he brings the story to life. And all the more amazing that it is done within the confines of a strict sonnet form.
Those who love the English language will be astonished by the author’s use of poetic form. Those who love a story beautifully told will find this version of the Stations of the Cross portrayed evocatively, and with great compassion.
San Rafael, CA
The Sonnets are beautiful and a creative masterpiece. The Heroic Crown of Sonnets is a difficult form to master. It's worth reading just for the poetic value alone.