The Canticles: A Powerful Collection of Poems Reflecting a Long Search for Truth

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There is a remarkable, recurring theme in the works of Sharon Marcus. Whether in poetry, prose, or the narrative of storytelling, there is a defined sense of yearning, in the writer’s words, a search for what it means to be human expressed in a striving to be one with God.

Marcus writes from the perspective of the mysterious, even the deeply mystical. The yearning for self-knowledge is apparent throughout her work, from the earlier My Years with the Qutb: A Walk in Paradise, to her later books, The Sufi Experience and The Next Step. In her beautifully detailed, hugely authentic novel, A Toronto Story, she continues the search for self-knowledge, self-awareness. All this has made her a highly regarded Canadian author writing about the mysteries of the human spirit.

Marcus, a Toronto writer, has just released her latest work, a new collection of poetry, The Canticles. This publication shows the author at her introspective best, the poems in the sections “The Canticles I,” “The Canticles II” and “The Canticles III” are a reflection of two years in the poet’s life when she had a taste of heaven and hell, a celebration of joy, alternating with dark and emotional times, a lifetime of splendour and grief in a few short months.

The next section is a longer poem, “Behind Jebbal Amman 1989,” which comes from the same period in her life, a time spent on the other side of the world which gave her the lyrical and mystical substance to offer intimations from the life of a people who live in suffering without relief, who live only with the hope that things will be better one day.

The Canticles concludes with another deeply mystical collection of short lyrics “Seafaring Songs.” They come from a more recent period in the poet’s life as she looked at her own relentless search for knowledge, for meaning. These poems radiate the light of awareness, the light of a search for wisdom shining even upon the darkness.

In her search for God, Marcus is unsparing, challenging, she challenges herself. Those among us on a similar journey will find a poet who offers a vision of the light and the dark.

The Canticles and Other Poems
by Sharon Marcus
The Sufi Press
Date of Publication: April 25, 2014
ISBN: 9780986948336

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