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What has been the most religiously influential piece of literature or poetry to you that is specifically non religious in nature?

For me I've found great insight with "Anyway" by Kent M. Keith as it has impacted the forming of my ethics greatly: much love of Henry David Thoreau, Lord Byron and many others as they have helped shape my personal appreciation for the deep thoughts and beauty the world holds. And I can not forget "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost, as it is indelibly engraved on my heart as I seek out my own path in this life.


Asked by isabellalecour at 10:53 PM on Jun. 5, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (16)
  • Dylan Thomas, "Do Not Go Gentle"

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 12:23 AM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • Mine is "The Road Not Taken" too.

    Answer by pnwmom at 10:56 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • I love "Road Not Taken!" Beautiful and inspiring!

    Answer by saphire_eyes802 at 11:09 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • You guys are gonna think I'm nuts, and I'm about to reveal just how much of a geek I am, but the creation story as put forth in Demons: The Forsaken makes more since to me than any I've ever read. Go figure.I'm such a geek that I get revelations from a table top RPG.

    Answer by paganmom05 at 11:25 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • Don't worry Paganmom, I am Super Geek !!! I loved Star Trek before it was cool. LOL

    Answer by pnwmom at 11:33 PM on Jun. 5, 2009

  • Hmm . . . totally into the question. I would have to say off the top of my head that Jane Eyre is like one of my favorites this way. The romantic tension between Jane and Mr. Rochester is so strong and the passion they have for each other is so overwhelming. And yet, Jane can conquer that passion for the sake of her own conscience. It is so hard to understand. I love the quote, "I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad--as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual conscience I might break them what would be their worth?" That is the moment when I saw that she was different than everyone else. I mean who could resist Mr. Rochester, lol?

    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 12:15 AM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • I totally appreciate Thoreau as well (although I don't think like he thinks : )

    And I would have to say that Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" is also very influential. As a Christian I can feel the despair he feels at the loss of faith in God. I love how it pulls my heart out of my body like the tide sweeping the sand from beneath my feet.


    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 12:19 AM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • Dover Beach, Matthew Arnold, 1867

    The sea is calm tonight,
    The tide is full, the moon lies fair
    Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
    Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
    Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
    Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
    Only, from the long line of spray
    Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
    Listen! you hear the grating roar
    Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
    At their return, up the high strand,
    Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
    With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
    The eternal note of sadness in.

    Sophocles long ago
    Heard it on the Agean, and it brought
    Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
    Of human misery; we
    Find also in the sound a thought,
    Hearing it by this distant northern sea.


    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 12:20 AM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • cont.

    The Sea of Faith
    Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
    Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
    But now I only hear
    Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
    Retreating, to the breath
    Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear
    And naked shingles of the world.

    Ah, love, let us be true
    To one another! for the world, which seems
    To lie before us like a land of dreams,
    So various, so beautiful, so new,
    Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
    Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
    And we are here as on a darkling plain
    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
    Where ignorant armies clash by night.


    Answer by Cinnamon-mom at 12:20 AM on Jun. 6, 2009

  • My immediate answer would've been The Two Towers, but I can't really use Tolkien since his work is based on my religion's work. Vicious circle. So I'd have to go with the Krondor books by Feist. The arcing theme through them all is self-reliance and strength - and the horrible consequences of giving in to the status quo once a few generations have passed. That it is your duty to be responsible, to teach your kids that lesson as well, and the importance of passing it on, lest your great-grandchildren be fools.
    (and we'll just ignore for the sake of the question that pretty much all fantasy written after Tolkien is derivative of Tolkien)

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:37 AM on Jun. 6, 2009