Monday, May 14, 2018

Robert Hudson

Robert Hudson is a Michigan poet, editor, publisher, writer, and old-time fiddle player. His book The Christian Writers Manual of Style is now in its fourth edition. Although Bob is senior editor-at-large for Zondervan/HarperCollins Publishers, his personal, playful pursuits seem less about building his career than about his love of words, music and the spiritual life.

His first full-length poetry collection Kiss the Earth When You Pray: The Father Zosima Poems (2016) feels like translations from a medieval mystic. Zosima is in fact a fictitious character from Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov (inspired by a real-life Russian Orthodox ascetic). It is in the voice of Hudson's version of this character these poems are written.

Other recent books by Robert Hudson include The Monk's Record Player (2018, Eerdmans) — a fascinating intertwined joint-biography of Thomas Merton and Bob Dylan focusing on the summer of 1966 — and Four Birds of Noah's Ark (2017, Eerdmans) an updated version of Thomas Dekker's prayer book from 1608.

Bob and his wife Shelley Townsend-Hudson run Perkipery Press, which has published chapbooks for three decades, and play together as members of the band Gooder'n Grits, that performs the pre-bluegrass music of the Carolinas.

The following poem is from Kiss the Earth When You Pray.

On Creation

There is this. The river, silent,
moving through the reeds,

the crab tree
crippled with fruit,

the doe in winter
that will die before nightfall,

and the sapling with ambition
in the heart of the forest—

all things are warm
from the forge of Creation.

The muskrat slapping
water with its tail,

the mute stones
wearing smooth in rain,

the earthworm lolling
from its hole in flood time,

and the night sky heavy
with snow but waiting—

all these are still warm
from the fires of Creation.

The ox at the yoke,
at the row's end, turning,

the yew and the heron
and the unwinding stars,

the swallow blinded
in the eye of the sun,

and the mole whose patience
undermines the world—

all these are still warm
from the touch of that Hand.

Who sows the seeds in the drops
of rain and fills the morning crows

with laughter? Who hung
the web in the spider's mind?

Tell every pilgrim you meet on the way,
the shrine of the Holy is everywhere.

Posted with permission of the poet.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.