Ever since the Middle Ages, the first hour of daily prayer in monastic life--Matins--has roused the community from sleep. Wisely, the second hour was reserved for Lauds, which means praise. Praise with that freshly awakened consciousness. In this way, such an attitude toward the world, seen and unseen, could be absorbed before breakfast.
The poems in this book continue that tradition--though outside a monastic community--of waking up, reflecting, and discerning what there is to praise--and how, and whom. The book constructs an introspective retrospective of a woman charged with curiosity and accommodating doubt. Over decades, she acknowledges with gratitude her own daily shaping by students, grandchildren, rhinos--a public and private history full of saints and ain'ts.
Beyond the author's erstwhile community chanting Lauds, she explores its resonance with wit and wistfulness and arrives at this truth: praise over time alters the one who gives it.