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Songs of Faith and Freedom



Praise for Broken Crusts:

“I found myself amazed as I began to read Clifford Laube’s poems. They open out onto the great regions of Catholic spirituality. I was reminded of such writers as Romano Guardini, St. Francis de Sales, and some of those early 20th century French writers. I was really quite overwhelmed. The sheer power and beauty of poem after poem actually had me in tears, more than once. I dog-eared any number of pages to read selections to my wife, but realized I'd have to wait since I was so choked up. Poems like “To One Gallant in Defeat,” and “Crystal” and “Ex Aegypto Vocavi Filium Meum”—and so many others....What a profound vision of things he had.”
Thomas Howard, author of On Being Catholic and The Night is Far Spent

About the book:

One of the truly great Catholic poets of the 20th century, Clifford J. Laube’s devout, evocative, and erudite poems were originally published in some of the most widely read and prestigious periodicals, both Catholic and secular. Born in poverty to a Colorado prospecting couple in 1891, Laube overcame enormous obstacles to become a celebrated figure in Catholic arts and letters—editor at the New York Times, President of the Catholic Poetry Society, founder of a small press, and recipient of four honorary doctorates.

This collection of over 100 poems captures the heart and soul of the man—his love of the natural world, his attachment to family, and above all, his devotion to the transcendent God as revealed through the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Accompanied by illustrations created by Laube's grand-children and extended family, Broken Crusts will occupy a treasured place in the homes of Catholic families and is especially well suited for students learning about the classical poetic forms in English.

Following are two examples of Clifford J. Laube's poetic brilliance which may be found in Broken Crusts:

Ave, Vita Nostra!

Attila’s spirit rides again the red roads of the East;
    Caligula returns, a subtler tyrant, to the South;
King Herod’s sword still seeks the Lord; with fury thrice increased
    It strikes at holy youth and maims the manna-nourished mouth.

        Mother of God, amid this strife,
        Amid this death, be thou our life!

Dark intellects like Lucifer’s, low-fallen in their pride,
    Have dimmed the philosophic lamp in Learning’s ancient seats;
Despoiled of grace, a godless race thrusts purity aside,
    Slaying the lily in its bulb, the heart before it beats.

        Mother of Christ’s integrity,
        Amid this blight, our sweetness be.

Yet while the Coliseums stand, the catacombs remain.
    The wolf pack prowls, but Peter watches, faithful to his flock.
A martyred Pro in Mexico, the mangled priests of Spain,
    The hidden saints of Russia, show the texture of the Rock.

        Mystical star above the slope,
        Mother of men, be thou our hope!

    Hail, holy Queen!
    Mother of mercy,
    Our life, our  sweetness and our hope,
    To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
    To thee do we send up our sighs,
    Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

© 2007 Monica Sohler. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Ex Ægypto Vocavi Filium Meum

Egypt, from your silted dream the river-lily nods.
Dust is in your tabernacles. Death is on your gods.
Night is on Ikhnaton, but his spirit in your fanes
Was a witness to the truth, and the truth remains.

Egypt, by your sunken plinths the ibis wades.
Broken lies the obelisk, the hieroglyph fades.
Wilderness of ruin! But a live-forever blooms:
Starry hope deep-hidden in your death-denying tombs.

Egypt, on your templed towns a ten-fold justice fell,
Chastening your tyrant kings, avenging Israel,
But gratitude remembers how you gave a fronded path
To Three in holy hiding from the fang of Herod’s wrath.

Egypt of Osiris, let your phantoms sleep.
Egypt of Rameses, may your dreams be deep.
To Cleopatra’s Egypt a long oblivion;
But starlight on the Egypt that shielded Mary’s Son!

© 2007 Monica Sohler. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission.
Broken Crusts

July 2007 ~ 136 pages
8 illustrations ~ paperback
978-1-889758-73-2 ~ $12.95
with 10% discount: $11.65

To order Broken Crusts in paperback with a 10% discount using a credit card, click the button below.

Praise for Laube’s book of poetry, Crags, published in 1938:

“Clifford J. Laube is unique and envied among poets in a world which has thousands of them.”

“Behind these verses burns the genuine fire.”
—The Boston Transcript

“Here is something worthy of particular accolade.”
—The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin

“Here in each poem is an idea fully realized; a ray of light piercing the obscurity which lies between one human being and another.”
—The Aeonian

“This book unquestionably would win the Pulitzer Prize if the Pulitzer Committee had any sense of sympathy or discovery.”

“Lyrical in impulse, it is nevertheless intellectual poetry; not the impact of naked emotion but the grasping of the truth behind the emotion, every expression of which touches the heart like a new discovery.”
—The Commonweal

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