The book about which I am speaking is my life’s work:
Stars Through the Clouds: The Collected Poetry of Donald T. Williams (Lynchburg, VA: Lantern Hollow Press, 2011). To order, go to https://www.createspace.com/3562314.
My life’s work? You might not think so from looking at my resume. I have published six other books, many articles, countless reviews, and numerous sermons, all in prose. I have appeared before the world, in the flesh and in print, as a College Professor, a Literary Historian, a Preacher, a Bible Teacher, a Missionary, a Musician, a Culture Critic, an Apologist, and maybe even as a bit of a Theologian. I still believe in almost everything I have ever said in all of those roles, and I would jump at the chance to say it again—even in prose. I believe it was all worth living for, and much of it worth dying for. Yet if I were limited to what I have said up to now, I would feel that my life was incomplete, indeed, that I had been a poor steward of my gifts and failed to do the main thing I was put on this planet to do.
Which was to write this book.
How can I say that? It is easy to get the impression that nobody cares about poetry any more. And it certainly seems that to hang your hat on that hook these days is to condemn yourself to a well-deserved obscurity, not to mention irrelevance. Now, that’s what most people would call a squandering of one’s gifts and opportunities! Some people painfully close to me have called it that. I understand. So be it. Nevertheless . . .
Nevertheless, I stick to my guns. If I have had anything significant to contribute, it is here. If I have been enabled to say anything worth hearing about the meaning of a passage of Scripture or of a work of literature or of life, it is here. If I have ever succeeded in clarifying an argument or perceiving the significance of a bit of evidence, it is here. If I have been granted any valuable insight into the pathos of the human condition or the love of God or the power of the Gospel, it is here. If I have been granted any clear vision of the Truth of things, the Goodness of God, or the Beauty of Nature or Christ, it is here. Here! So what was I doing before?
I tried to say some of it in prose because that was what I was able to publish in today’s book market. And I am grateful for that opportunity. One does what one can. But my most profound meditations on all these things, in their most powerful expression, for whatever they may be worth, are here: in the poems. That is what poetry is for. That is what real poetry—if I have ever been granted to achieve it—is.
If these poems can re-convince anyone of that most forgotten of truths, so that he or she may be brought to see a little more clearly the even greater Truths which are their subject matter, I shall not have lived in vain.
To order, go to https://www.createspace.com/3562314.