Beat is Beatitude - A Book Review

May 10, 2015

Another Speakeasy review that I enjoyed:

Beat is Beatitude: Poems, Prayers, & Preaching by Andy Smith - This is a book of mostly poetry done in the style of the beat writers, Smith's greatest writing inspiration.  I remember reading the beat poets in college, but I have not read their prose yet.  One thing that has stopped me from reading further is knowing that Ginsberg was a pedophile and Kerouac seems pretty misogynist.  Still, I do like their poetry as poetry.  

For the most part, I love Smith's poetry.  It's no Anne Sexton, whom I've been reading lately, for her writing is perfect every time.  Most of his work is stellar-insightful and somehow able to capture my spiritual thoughts exactly.  For instance, his "Creed" is the first creed I have ever read that describes how I think about my faith perfectly.  I especially like the line, "born from the sacred feminine in the form of the Mother Mary."  It just makes me want to scream, "YES!" because it acknowledges that the story of Jesus' birth is a myth with his mother representing the feminine divine.  I kept on underlining passages and even took some pictures of phrases I wanted to share with friends:

Smith's sometimes shocking words are refreshing in their political honesty.  I like seeing someone unabashedly write about the flaws of Christianity and the American empire.  I love that he is more focused on the humanity of Jesus than his divinity, as that is what I focus on too.

Unfortunately, when Smith flops, he flops hard, like in his version of the Lord's prayer that is centered around a port-a-potty.  I guess I can admire a guy who is willing to put himself so far out on a ridiculous idea for a poem, but it did not inspire me.

Towards the back of the book, Smith also includes some essays and sermons and these were not as good as his poetry.  I heartily recommend this book, although the style is uneven, but would advise you to skip the end pieces.  I definitely think the poetry probably works better as spoken word, so I would also advise you to check out his videos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *