This book is a true joy to read! Christopher’s poetry is deeply moving and dynamic. Yet the lines resemble swift brush strokes on an impressionist painting, they are actually full of profound meanings and symbols that aim directly at readers’ imagination and spiritual perception.
With his poetic thought, Christopher brings himself close to the tradition of William Blake’s visionary poetry. This book is a true joy to read.
A deeper journey. I have found Christopher’s poetry so moving, it takes one on a deeper journey. His ability to dig deep into our human condition is unnerving. I feel his poetry physically, his description of wanting or anxiety clenches my stomach, causes my heart to yearn. He is a talent that deserves your time.
Highly recommend. Touching and beautiful volume of poetry. The poems are personal and easily speak to one’s heart and experiences. Really enjoyed the volume (read it over two days) and already looking forward to Christopher’s next one.
A wonderful collection with a rich variety of subject matter. The poems on love lost and/or betrayed come straight from the heart, while the humorous verses show a mastery of subtle wordplay. Villiers is a poet with a soul, a conscience, and a distinctive poetic voice. Highly recommend.
Award-winning British Catholic theologian and poet Christopher Villiers will be presenting excerpts from his latest poetry book Petals of Visionin London on June 13, 2017. Entrance is free and all are welcome. Petals of Visionis available in paperback and ebook editions from Amazon, directly from the publishers and from the usual outlets.
Here are a couple of photographs of the British Catholic poet, Christopher Villiers, during his book reading from Petals of Visionat Once Upon a Mic held in London, England last week. The video below provides an excerpt from Villiers’ performance.
Wonderful journey into the potential and power of poetry.I will be the first to admit that I did not get poetry until I read this book. I now understand poetry as a way to transport you to another world, to travel the world without leaving to go anywhere. This book has so many poems that you would think you had enough poetry for a lifetime. Each poem takes you to another world filled with mystery in which what is left out is just as important as what is there. My two favorites are Thank You, which is a poem for soldiers or veterans who are serving or have served their country. This one almost brought tears of thankfulness, both for the poem being written and for the joy of serving my country. My second was Capri for this is the first poem that actually brought to me what poetry is meant to be – a vehicle of imagination and dreams, to transport you to another part of the planet filled with God’s beauty. Cannot wait to go there. Finally, there are many poems that speak of forgiveness and sorrow, and seeking heaven. All the poems are infused with a subtle love of God and neighbor and family, and also what happens when you betray those high ideals of God, family, and your neighbors for selfish reasons. I recommend this book as a wonderful journey into the potential and power of poetry. Hopefully, it will kindle your love of this fine art form that thanks to this book, I am now beginning to appreciate.
Thought provoking read from new poet. This short volume of work from a young poet, using a sonnet to illustrate religious and iconic figures could be off putting, but Christopher Villiers has used his own words to convey the historic and deeply human experiences of biblical characters. Each sonnet is also illustrated by pictures of classical art. This assists the reader to focus and personally reflex. This is a wonderful collection and example from this new poet. I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.
Food for the mind and the heart. It may be helpful to think of these sonnets as prayers that rhyme. The meticulously crafted first person narratives, each one containing a volta that depicts the narrator’s mind coming to a fresh realisation of the nature of divinity, show God’s power at work in the world in a variety of settings. Whether the subject of the sonnet is a saint, a sinner, or simply a flawed person whose relationship with God requires improvement, slowly feeling their way towards enlightenment using the handholds of rhyme and metre, they will eventually realise — perhaps too late — that they are part of a pattern more wide, deep, and beautiful than they can comprehend entirely. The elegant form of the sonnet, a staple of poetry for hundreds of years, is therefore used as a microcosm of the divine reason or Logos in which all this book’s readers live and move and have their being.
The author is gifted with a rare intelligence, tempered with understanding and piety, which he uses to enter the heads of a heterogeneous range of Biblical figures. Although their corporeal forms became dust millennia ago, their spirits continue not only in whichever extra-mundane afterlife they now inhabit, but also in the pages of this slender yet deeply intriguing volume.
A moving way to experience and meditate on the Scriptures. This is an impressive and ambitious collection of poems from a young theologian and poet. Starting with Adam and Eve, and ending with the coronation of Mary in heaven, the collection spans the story of redemption, with each poem offering a glimpse through the eyes of one of the biblical characters in each key event. The poems work well as individual meditations, but it is also fruitful to read them all in one go – you are led through the whole grand story, but in a personal and grounded way with events, emotions, and theological messages crystallised in the perspective of each individual person. The poems encourage the reader to identify with the person speaking and to imagine themselves in the speaker’s place in a way reminiscent of Ignatian spirituality. I personally found the New Testament poems to be particularly evocative: my favourites included Redemption (the moment where Mary Magdalene anoints the feet of Christ) and Samaritan Woman.
Above are a few photographs of British Catholic theologian and poet Christopher Villiers during a reading and signing of his new book Petals of Vision at Barnstaple Library, Devon, England this past weekend. In the video below you can watch Villiers reading the poem The Road to Spring during the event.
Hope and Life Press is pleased to announce the release of the poetry book titled Petals of Vision by award-winning British Catholic theologian and poet Christopher Villiers. Petals of Vision is an anthology of 72 poems and sonnets in which the vicissitudes of human love are addressed through lyrics and flawless rhymes that fill the soul with love, sorrow, hope, joy, humility, depth, and even laughter. Presented through a world characterized by versatility and surrounded by symbolism, sincere images, and heartfelt thoughts, this new collection gives readers of classic poetry a great opportunity to revel once again, as its contents imprint on the memory for a lifetime. Petals of Vision is available in paperback and ebook editions from Amazon, the publishers Hope and Life Press, and major booksellers.
Villiers’s lyrics fill the soul with love, humility and depth . . . a superb writer who reinvigorates personalized memories or a similar ambiance drawn from the verses depicted in subtle implications that embody hope, sympathize with sorrow along with exuberance and triumphs . . . genuinely a poet who takes life to the fullest. Readers will revel in Villiers’s Petals of Vision that will imprint in the memory, plus relish each stance while absorbing every phrase until the end – Hadel S. Ma’ayeh, Huffington Post Passionista and author of From the Heart: A Journey of Love.
Villiers’s new collection Petals of Vision offers deeply felt poetry in a wide variety of forms and covering subjects. Here are sonnets that chart the highs and lows of human love, short lyrics inspired by nature, and also some delightful ‘nonsense poems’ voiced for different animals – for example, the excellent and satiric Parliament of Owls. There are many moving little touches and poems that are, in his words “Petals of grace” that “Spread blessing/Unseen by the wider world” – Reverend Malcolm Guite, Ph.D., Chaplain and Supervisor, Girton College, Cambridge University.
In this wonderful second collection of poems, Villiers again sings “the universe into … rhyme” and weaves nature with religious allusion in suggested tales of love’s loss and gain. Here are deft and lucid vignettes, sturdy poems of yearning, new found resolve, and — on occasion — humor too – Gerard Loughlin, Ph.D., Professor of Theology and Religion, Durham University.
About the Author
Christopher Villiers is a British theologian and freelance writer who has written about religious matters for a wide variety of publications, both academic and popular. He holds the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Theology from Durham University, United Kingdom, with a specialization in the history of Christian doctrine. His postgraduate thesis addressed the Divine impassibility in the theology of Saint Cyril of Alexandria, with reference to modern theological debates on divine impassibility deriving from biblical, historical and philosophical scholarship.
Villiers is a practicing Catholic with an interest in ecumenism, particularly in relation to the Eastern Orthodox churches. He writes on a regular basis for the ecumenical theological journal Sobornost. Villiers is the author of Sonnets From the Spirit (2015), a book of illustrated biblical poetry for Lent. He is also the winner of the 2008 Jean Cowling Prize in Theology and the first prizewinner of the 2015 Sonnets for Shakespeare Poetry Award.