Thomas Merton on Poetry

Email to a Friend

Thomas Merton on Poetry

  • Sacred Heart University
Introductory Lecture + 16 Talks on 7 CDs
Audio CD Set:
Audio Download:

Availability: In stock


Availability: In stock.

Bundle Options

Buy this product as a bundle and save!

  1. Thomas Merton on Poetry Audio Bundle: Thomas Merton on Poetry + “God Speaks to Each of Us”: The Poetry and Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke - 12 CDs Total $64.95

Recommended Products

Other Programs by This Professor


Thomas Merton was a towering literary genius. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the brilliant series of talks he gave on poetry near the end of his life (1964 and 1968). Recorded during the last decade of his life, these newly remastered talks recorded by Merton give you the rare opportunity to take him as your personal literature professor.

In this curated collection, Thomas Merton’s inimitable teaching and powerful speaking will inspire your heart and mind as much as it did for the monks who listened to his talks at the Gethsemani classroom his hermitage. A celebrated poet and lifelong lover of the written word, Merton channeled his extraordinary literary knowledge into these lectures. Whatever your level of familiarity with poetry, hearing Merton in his own voice will invigorate your imagination.

With his trademark eloquence, Merton explores how poetry illuminates the human experience of love, suffering, and spirituality. Under his guidance, you will look at poets like William Blake, Gerard Manley Hopkins, W. H. Auden, Charles Peguy, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Thoroughly in touch with contemporary society yet rooted in monastic life, Merton provides a unique perspective on classic literature.

As you will discover, Merton saw poetry not only as one of the most profound modes of human expression but also as a way to encounter God. A brilliant author himself, Thomas Merton possessed an unparalleled appreciation for these poets’ work.

Let the words of this masterful poet enlighten you today.

This set includes an afterword by Thomas Merton biographer and literature professor Michael W. Higgins.  

 ** This set was previously published under the title Seeing the World in a Grain of Sand: Thomas Merton on Poetry. It contains essentially the same content.

***Photograph of Thomas Merton by Sibylle Akers. Used with Permission of the Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University.  These recordings are from the archives of the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Topic Titles
Topic Titles


  • Art and Poetry (10/31/1964)
  • Lyric Poetry (11/7/1964)
  • Charles Peguy (11/28/1964)
  • Poetry and Theological Wisdom (12/5/1964)
  • The Essential Role of Symbolism (12/12/1964)
  • Love Poetry (1/7/1965)
  • Expressions of Suffering (1/14/1965)
  • Expressions of Spiritual Experience (1/29/1965)
  • Our Fellowship with Nature (2/4/1965)
  • The Poet’s Experience of Life (2/11/1965)
  • Revelation as Dialogue (2/18/1965)
  • Simone Weil (3/4/1965)
  • Literal vs. Symbolic (3/11/1965)
  • Liturgy and Poetry (3/18/1965)
  • Prose and Poetry on the Passion (4/8/1965)*
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins (5/20/1965)
  • Afterward by Dr. Michael W. Higgins, Ph.D.

*Also included on Thomas Merton's Great Sermons.


About Your Presenter

Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk and bestselling author of such beloved works as The Seven Storey Mountain and New Seeds of Contemplation. One of the 20th century’s great mystics, Merton was also a masterful teacher who delivered powerful conferences to the novice monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani. In these conferences, Merton’s thinking moved from cloistered monastic life to issues of social justice and interreligious understanding. A spiritual sage and guide for countless men and women, Merton struggled with complex questions about God’s existence and the role of organized religion.

Those who knew him also experienced his gifts as a homilist and teacher. These special, remastered recordings are part of his spoken word legacy. They are actual recordings of Thomas Merton. By agreement with The Thomas Merton Legacy Trust, Now You Know Media has the sole right to record, master, re-master, duplicate, market, and disseminate copies of "The Merton Recordings," which are a selection of the archives housed in the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.

Dr. Michael W. Higgins, Ph.D. is the leading biographer of Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen. He is a celebrated scholar, an award-winning author and documentarian, and the Vatican affairs specialist for the Globe and Mail and CTV Network. Currently Professor of Religious Studies and Vice-President for Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University, Dr. Higgins is also a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto. Previously, he served as the president of St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo, and of St. Thomas University in New Brunswick.

Dr. Higgins has edited, co-edited, authored, and co-authored thirteen books including: Heretic Blood: The Spiritual Geography of Thomas Merton, The Jesuit Mystique, Power and Peril: The Catholic Church at the Crossroads, Stalking the Holy: The Pursuit of Saint-Making, and Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen. He has also produced radio documentaries on Simone Weil, Thomas Merton, and G. K. Chesterton. A regular contributor to Commonweal and the Literary Review of Canada, Dr. Higgins is also a columnist for the Telegraph-Journal and the Irish Catholic. He is the recipient of many award...

Learn More About This Professor
Customer Reviews (0)
Merton's insights are profound and beautiful. Review by Steve Stahley, Westminster, MD, USA (Posted on 4/14/2015)
Write Your Own Review

Only registered users can write reviews. Please, log in or register