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The Diary of an Old Soul: A favorite of C.S.…
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The Diary of an Old Soul: A favorite of C.S. Lewis, "Warnie" Lewis, and Elisabeth Elliot (urspr publ 1880; utgåvan 2023)

av George MacDonald (Författare)

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324279,064 (4.15)Ingen/inga
Fiction. Poetry. HTML:

Renowned Scottish fiction writer, poet, and minister George MacDonald gained literary acclaim for his creative reinvention of age-old fairy tales. Among the many writers who cited MacDonald as a key influence were G.K. Chesterson, W.H. Auden, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L'Engle. In this volume of verse, MacDonald offers a poem for every day of the year; each is intended to prompt introspection and prayerful contemplation.

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Medlem:amandaroot
Titel:The Diary of an Old Soul: A favorite of C.S. Lewis, "Warnie" Lewis, and Elisabeth Elliot
Författare:George MacDonald (Författare)
Info:Independently published (2023), 184 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek, Läser just nu, Favoriter
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Diary of an Old Soul av George MacDonald (1880)

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How to review the diary of a soul? Limited research shows this book of poems was originally "privately printed," its original title A Book of Strife, in the form of the Diary of an Old Soul. I doubt MacDonald ever expected more than his family to read this work, much less review it. In these verses, he wrestles (strives?) with himself, with God or his understanding of Him, with the imperfectness of the world around him and the heart within him. Ultimately he holds onto the promises that someday this world and his soul will be redeemed perfectly. The poetry is beautiful, always. The musings and feelings put forth are raw, searching, hurt, unguarded, and worth the time it takes to soak them in.

Yes, some of it is difficult to decipher, but not through any flaw of the poet. I had to reread some passages, and careful attention to punctuation (not only line breaks) helped me as well. Though it does appear (from a few of the verses in "December," especially the 25th) that MacDonald wrote a verse a day for a year, the themes often carry through several consecutive days. "September" is one complete thought. My recommendation is to read not a day at a time but a month at a time.

To give the prospective reader a taste of the beauty and honesty found herein, a few quotes follow.

p. 35 ~ "Let my soul talk to Thee in ordered words,
O King of kings, O Lord of only lords!
When I am thinking Thee within my heart
From the broken reflex be not far apart.
The troubled water, dim with upstirred soil
Makes not the image which it can yet spoil
Come nearer, Lord, and smooth the wrinkled coil."

p. 54 ~ "Afresh I seek Thee. Lead me--once more I pray--
Even should it be against my will, Thy way.
Let me not feel Thee foreign any hour,
Or shrink from Thee as an estranged power.
Through doubt, through faith, through bliss, through stark dismay,
Through sunshine, wind, or snow, or fog, or shower,
Draw me to Thee Who art my only day."

p. 70,1 ~ "Master, Thou workest with such common things--
Low souls, weak hearts, I mean--and hast to use,
Therefore, such common means and rescuings,
That hard we find it, as we sit and muse,
To think Thou workest in us verily:
Bad sea-boats we, and manned with wretched crews--
That doubt the Captain, watch the storm-spray flee." ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
I started reading these one a night, but ended up reading them in several large chunks, mostly due to their nature. Often, several days or even months would feel like a long poem or train of thought. I would get caught up in their poignant beauty and palatable truth. Each prayer was short, only a few lines, but compact with ideas to ruminant upon. I had many that struck me hard, but my favorite prayers are as follows:

July 17
I cannot tell why this day I am ill;
But I well because it is they will –
Which is to make me pure and right like thee.
Not yet I need escape – ‘tis bearable
Because thou knowest. And when harder things
Shall rise and gather, and overshadow me,
I shall have comfort in thy strengthening

June 20
But now the Spirit and I are on in this –
My hunger now is after righteousness;
My spirit hopes in God to set me free
From the low self loathed of higher me
Great elder brother of my second birth
Dear o’er all names but one, in heaven or earth
Teach me all day to love eternally

May 27
So bound in selfishness am I, so chained,
I know it must be glorious to be free
But know not what, full-fraught, the word doth mean;
By loss on loss I have several gained
Wisdom enough my slavery to see;
But liberty, pure, absolute, serene
No freest-visioned slave has ever seen.

February 2
The worst power of an evil mood is this –
It makes the bastard self seem in the right,
Self, self the end, the goal of human bliss.
But if the Christ-self in us be the might
Of saving God, why should I spend my force
With a dark thing to reason of the light -
Not push it rough aside, and hold obedient course? ( )
  empress8411 | Dec 22, 2016 |
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Sweet friends, receive my offering, You will find against each worded page a white page set: -- This is the mirror of each friendly mind reflecting that. In this book we are met. Make it, dear hearts, of worth to you indeed: -- Let your white page be ground, my print be seed, growing to golden ears, that faith and hope shall feed.
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Lord, what I once had done with youthful might, had I been from the first true to the truth, grant me, now old, to do -- with better sight, and humbler heart, if not the brain of youth; So wilt thou, in thy gentleness and ruth, lead back thy old soul, by the pain of pain, round to his best -- young eyes and heart and brain.
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Too eager I must not be to understand.
How should the work the master goes about
Fit the vague sketch my compasses have planned?
I am his house--for him to go in and out.
He builds me now--and if I cannot see
At any time what he is doing with me,
‘Tis that he makes the house for me too grand.
. . . His royal thoughts require many a stair,
Many a tower, many an outlook fair,
Of which I have no thought . . .
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Renowned Scottish fiction writer, poet, and minister George MacDonald gained literary acclaim for his creative reinvention of age-old fairy tales. Among the many writers who cited MacDonald as a key influence were G.K. Chesterson, W.H. Auden, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L'Engle. In this volume of verse, MacDonald offers a poem for every day of the year; each is intended to prompt introspection and prayerful contemplation.

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