False Prophet

Publisher: Knopf
Stan Rice, who died in December 2002, was a poet of unique, uncompromising vision. Joy and brutality, faith and faithlessness, the beauty of truth and, at times, of untruth–these opposing forces come together one last time in his final book of poetry, a haunting collection of psalms.

Beginning with his “Psalm 151”–that is, taking up where the Bible leaves off–Rice calls us to his own kind of prayer and contemplation. “Lord, hear me out,” he begins. “At the point of our need / The storehouse shares its shambles.” An elegant, passionate, tragic lament for our condition, Rice’s homemade psalms exhort us indirectly to accept our fate–the world as it is. In the brave, unshrinking manner that has characterized his whole career, Rice has written a profound farewell.


From the Hardcover edition.

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PSALM 151

Lord, hear me out. At the point of our need The storehouse shares its shambles. We are calling to the heart And desire information from place. We call on the pain in the wicked. They are prosperous, their footmen Have wearied, their servants Are swollen. But this is a walk in the park. How are we going to...
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