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A Syllable of Water is a collection of essays by writers involved with the Chrysostom Society, whose members include Scott Cairns, Eugene Peterson, Luci Shaw, Philip Yancey, and Robert Siegel. I first heard about it at the 2010 Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing, where Shaw, Siegel (whom I will forever confuse with the guy who did the SNL cartoons), and James Schaap had a session where they talked about the book and how it came to be.

I've been reading the essays off and on since I bought the book at the festival, and tonight I read Scott Cairns's essay, titled "A Troubled and Troubling Mirror: On Poetry." It might be the best essay I've ever read about writing, and I'm not even that big into poetry (or at least I thought I wasn't; Cairns is making me re-examine what poetry actually is).

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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It's a fantastic book. I first discovered the Chrysostom Society when my dad gave me Reality and the Vision, a book edited by Philip Yancey, in which many of my favorite writers wrote essays on their own favorite writers. It was later revised into a volume called More Than Words.

Yeah, Cairns's essay is wonderful.

By the way, Cairns is teaching a poetry workshop at Laity Lodge this fall here.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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