The editors of this rare collection of poetic wisdom have gathered together a treasure trove of spiritual insight into a compilation of poems that reflect the outpourings of an open soul, poems for the ages that in transcending their own boundaries with their unique spiritual messages seem to the reader like drinking cool water from a hand-carved wooden bowl. The poems appear out of nowhere like a field of wild lilies, unruly and joyous, shouting insights into our sullen modern minds like magical incantations from another age for anyone and everyone to listen to and behold. The title itself is evocative of a higher order of consciousness and experience, linking the implicit music of verse with the harmonies and rhythms evidenced through the universe, while the image of the sky recalls the broad sweep of the Infinite contained within that plate of empyrean blue. The externalization of such sublime thought through sound and word images becomes internalized as an inner harmony within the firmament of the human soul and spirit.
The collection contains a number of hidden perspectives built into its framework, like secret chambers comprising a sublime edifice, including the traditional, historical and human standpoint. As a traditional document, these poems convey a perennial quality that transcend s the boundaries of individual spiritual traditions. The source material for these poems serve the same function as the source material for the religions, highlighting beauty and truth as the timeless signposts along the way of return to the Divinity and echoing their sweet sentiments of devotion and love as they flow out of the mind and heart of the poet. The sublime quality of these sacred sentiments rises above the parochial nature of individual religious traditions, mirroring the spirit of university that lies behind the various spiritual traditions.
As a historical link to the past, these poems span many centuries and a diverse range of personalities like a grand, mythic bridge. The reader has access to a broad range of spiritual emotions that cuts across time frames and geographic cultures, creating a timeless quality to the material that transcends the strictly human norm. Like ghostly votive lamps illuminating the history of soul searching, these poems reflect the sense and sensibility of many different poets and their individual attempts to cast all the knowledge and love of the Divinity into a single metric flow that captures the essence of a feeling that is basically intuitive and often inexpressible. Here between two covers resides the likes of a Tagore and a Rumi. Every page becomes a subtle and unique taste of various poetic genres that offer their own rarefied, heightened experience. One page reveals a Bengali hymn, another turns into an encounter with a Zen prayer. There are song offerings and Red Indian chants, fragments, sermons and ritual orations. We see the sun at midnight and hear the word of Lalla. Unexpectedly, we come upon a poem from an African Prayer Book.
As a purely human document, these are songs of the heart because they attempt to express the ineffable sentiments that emerge from some secret niche or cave within the human being where the kingdom of God resides "within you". As the individual expression of the poet's most heart-felt yearning, it becomes the human kingdom with the power not only to imagine, but also to feel the knowledge of God as a living presence. A poet lies secreted within every one of us by virtue of the human capacity not only to see the inner reality but to internalize the inner meaning of that reality through symbolic language. In addition to the physical form of the book, we also have a piece of the heavens, come down to us in the form of heart songs of the poets and spiritual masters of a former time, revisited during these post-modern times as votive candles in the deepening dusk of the present era. In a sense, these poems opens the heart to a rude awakening of what we have become, conveying a sense of nostalgia for the higher consciousness and loss of the sense of the Presence that we have lost during these times.