Poet Calvin Miller


The Singer Trilogy, by Calvin Miller

Recently, a good friend gave me a copy of Calvin Miller’s poetic retelling of the New Testament, The Singer Trilogy, A Mythic Retelling of the Story of the New Testament. While I do not subscribe to all of Miller’s treatment, much of his poetry is simply powerful.

Enjoy some poetry from Calvin Miller.

Before the song all
music came like
muted, empty octaves
begging a composer’s pen.
The notes cried silently
for paper staves and
kept their sound in theory only.

——–

The world is poor because
her fortune is buried in the sky
and all her treasure maps
are of the earth.

———

I know a blind man
whom a surgeon
helped to see. The
doctor never had a
lover such as he.
It is in such a way
that singers love
composers.

——–

All birth was but the prelude
unto death
And every cradle swung above
a grave.
The sun made weary trips
from east to west,
Time found no shore, and
culture screamed and raved.

The world, in peaceless orbits,
sped along
And waited for the Singer and
the song.

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14 Responses

  1. Here’s musical accompaniment (sorta):

    I’m glad you enjoyed the book; I trust it gives you inspiration.

  2. Yes, much inspiration indeed. Thanks bro.

    Truthfully, I was a little disappointed someone had beat me to it. Nothin’ new under the sun don’t ya know.

    I love some of his metaphors. I wonder if I can render Mark or John in the beat of Green Eggs and Ham?

  3. Ah, now there’s a memory! I read The Singer, The Song and The Finale during high school and college and loved them! They were perfect reading for a girl who was crazy in love with God. The imagery was something so beautiful and real to me at the time. You gave me a major flashback here Ric.

  4. Hi Anita! Happy to oblige the flashback. I do that with a lot of Christians. Not growing up in a Christian home or culture has led meet C.S. Lewis in my advanced years as well.

  5. “The world is poor because
    her fortune is buried in the sky
    and all her treasure maps
    are of the earth.”

    I’m reading Joni Eareckson Tada’s book on “Heaven” to my dad, and this rings totally true with her thoughts as well. Her personal perspective, (like I think we ‘discussed’ earlier on another of your posts), is that suffering is often God’s best method for ‘lifting our eyes’ off earth to see where the real treasure lies!

    D-

  6. Ric,
    Wow, I want to read this trilogy again it’s been so long.
    Like Anita, I read the trilogy in college.
    I actually saw Miller speak once when I lived in Texas but have forgotten much of the experience (Miller’s presentation – not Texas). Also saw Robert Fulghum and got to interview him.
    Sorry had to get suddenly back into work earlier today what with a supervisor sneaking up on me and all.
    -Sam

  7. Hi D. Yes, I’ve come to see that same truth. I wonder sometimes if the trial I might be experiencing is “simply” so that I might ahh… have a sincere chat with Him.

    Hey Sam you too? I think everyone’s read this but me. ha. No apology necessary. Love it.

  8. well…the words weren’t too big, and I actually could read them..it may be too deep for me today…but I did resonate with..

    I will not eat them in a box,
    I will not eat them with a fox,
    I will not eat them in the rain
    I will not eat them on a train

    I will not eat them here or there,
    I will not eat them anywhere!
    I do not like green eggs and ham,
    I do not like them Sam I am!

    😆 sorry my mentality today…thats the best of me! hahaha love you brother…when my brain is better behaved I will come back.

  9. I LOVE that book Darla! haha… And please don’t wait for your brain to behave before visiting again. I would miss you. 😉

  10. I really like the following lines of Millers:

    “Before the song all music came like muted empty octaves begging a composer’s pen.”

    I will look up some more of Miller’s poetry. Thanks for introducing me to him.

  11. You are quite welcome Ed. I don’t know if there is more poetry published … he’s published several books. This book is packed with stuff like the above. I could have gone on and on with samples. I had to struggle which ones to limit it to.

  12. I need to read this trilogy. Thanks for sharing it.

    I know a blind man
    whom a surgeon
    helped to see. The
    doctor never had a
    lover such as he.
    It is in such a way
    that singers love
    composers.

    What a perfect explanation of why I often “fall in love” with poets and music.

    Thanks, Ric. 😉

  13. You are quite welcome Michelle. Yes, some of his poems are just stunning. I don’t agree with all of Miller’s parallels but most of it is right on and very beautiful.

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