John Bunyan Poems

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John Bunyan
John Bunyan.John Bunyan (November 28, 1628 August 31, 1688), a Christian writer and preacher, was born at Harrowden (one mile south-east of Bedford), in the Parish of Elstow, England. He wrote The Pilgrim's Progress, arguably the most famous published Christian allegory. In the Church of England he is remembered with a Lesser Festival on 30 August. Bunyan's birthplaceBunyan had very little schooling (about 2-4 years). He followed his father in the Tarish Tinker's trade, and he served in the parliamentary army at Newport Pagnell (1644 - 1647); in 1649 he married a pious young woman, whose only dowry appears to have been two books, Arthur Dent's Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven and Lewis Bayly's Practice of Piety, by which he was influenced towards a religious life. He lived in Elstow till 1655 (when his wife died) and then moved to Bedford. He married again in 1659. In his autobiographical book, Grace Abounding, Bunyan describes himself as having led an abandoned life in his youth; but there appears to be no evidence that he was, outwardly at any rate, worse than the average of his neighbours: the only serious fault which he specifies is profanity, others being dancing and bell-ringing. The increasing awareness of his unbiblical life led him to contemplate acts of impiety and profanity, and to a vivid realisation of the dangers these involved. In particular he was harassed by a curiosity in regard to the "unpardonable sin," and a prepossession that he had already committed it. He continually heard voices urging him to "sell Christ," and was tortured by fearful visions. After severe spiritual conflicts he triumphed over this condition. By the grace of God he was redeemed of this former life and he became an enthusiastic and assured believer and was received into the Baptist church in Bedford by immersion in the River Great Ouse in 1653. In 1655 he became a deacon and began preaching, with marked success from the start. Bunyan fiercely disagreed with the teachings of the Quakers and took part in written debates during the years 1656-1657 with some of its leaders. First Bunyan published Some Gospel Truths Opened in which he attacked Quaker beliefs. The Quaker Edward Burrough responded with The True Faith of the Gospel of Peace. Bunyan countered Burrough's pamphlet with A Vindication of Some Gospel Truths Opened, which Burrough answered with Truth (the Strongest of All) Witnessed Forth. Later the Quaker leader George Fox entered the verbal fray by publishing a refutation of Bunyan's essay in his The Great Mystery of the Great Whore Unfolded.

watching the oregon whale
 
 
A hard gray wave, her fin, walks out on the water
that thickens to open and then parts open, ar... [read poem]
insect
 
 
That hour-glass-backed,
orchard-legged,
heavy-headed will,

paper-folded,
... [read poem]
letter for emily dickinson
 
 
When I cut words you never may have said
into fresh patterns, pierced in place with pins,
... [read poem]
coy mistress
 
 
Sir, I am not a bird of prey:
a Lady does not seize the day.
I trust that brief Time will ... [read poem]
strangers
 
 
She turned to gold and fell in love.
She danced life upside down.

She opened her wi... [read poem]
changing woman
 
 
If we change as she is changing,
if she changes as we change

(If s... [read poem]
no snake
 
 
Inside my Eden I can find no snake.
There's not one I could look to and believe,
obey and ... [read poem]
of man by nature
 
 
From God he's a Back slider,
Of Ways, he loves the wider;
With Wickedness a Sider,
Mo... [read poem]
two bodies
 
 
Two bodies, balanced in mass and power,
move in a bed through the dark,
under the earliest... [read poem]
ghazal for a poetess
 
 
Many the nights that have passed,
But I remember
The river of pearls at F... [read poem]
my raptor
 
 
My mind hovered over my baby, like
a raptor, and froze everything it saw.
I looked through... [read poem]
in cities, be alert
 
 
You may hear that your heartbeat is uneven
and let new tension climb around your shoulders,... [read poem]
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