Introduction


This book is not a mere collection of short pieces, but rather a unified whole. It was written over a period of more than fifty years (from the late 1960s to 2021), and is the first and only book published by the author.

The book reflects a life long concern with and contemplation of the big issues of human existence. Because it explores the boundary between the knowable and the unknowable, it uses a variety of forms and styles of expression including both versification and prose. An attempt has been made to be concise, precise and to the point.

The major influences on the work come from three sources, the King James Bible, the vast and fabulous treasury of poetry written in the English language, and translations of classical Chinese poetry into English. Other influences include the Greek and Latin classics, the books of Teilhard de Chardin, Frank J. Tipler, and Dostoevsky, and twentieth century popular song, especially that of Bob Dylan.

While the order of presentation has been carefully chosen, with a coherent thread running from beginning to end, it does not have to be read in that order. You are encouraged to read and experience it in any manner in which the spirit moves you, and in fact it is hoped that you will come back again and again to parts of it.

The book is made up of four parts. "New Psalms" are lyrical poems that explore the existential questions of human life, and are similar to and somewhat inspired by the Book of Psalms in the Bible. They are concerned with the core philosophical questions that are at the heart of human life.

"Analects" are short poems and aphorisms in the tradition of such poems from classical Chinese literature, as read in translation into English. These poems delve into the more personal, intimate aspects of ordinary life, often leading to thoughts and emotions that are anything but ordinary.

"Manifesto" is similar to "New Psalms" but the poems are a bit more assertive and aggressive, looking into the same themes but with a sharper edge to them.

"Meditations" are prose pieces including prose poems, prayers, parables and essays. These explore similar issues to those explored in "New Psalms", but with the added depth and clarity facilitated by the use of prose.