ôProbably the best book to come out this year. Not only is this the most beautifully bound book of poetry I think IÆve ever seen, but Thom Satterlee is obviously a master at his craft.ö ùSuite101.com
ôThom Satterlee has fashioned a new genre, a contemporary hagiography in verse, primarily narrative but seasoned with lyric occasion. Burning Wyclif offers a deeply personal, word-savoring vision of a word-afflicted man, with the paradox and mystery one would expect of the ælifeÆ of a heretic and saint.ö ùScott Cairns, author of Compass of Affection: New & Selected Poems
ôFor its lyrical but authoritative evocations of a passionate scholarÆs works and days, and for its formful penetrations into the Word itselfùæthe sound and sense/we made in that language/before languagesÆùThom SatterleeÆs Burning Wyclif is a remarkable book, first or otherwise, inspired and earned.ö ùWilliam Heyen
"These poems shine with the desire of a medieval priest. How strange. Yet the book illuminates his conundrums so fiercely that they become ours. Thom Satterlee speaks through the character of Wyclif with such concentrated intelligence, passion, and humor that while I was reading, the historical man seemed to be standing in the room beside me."ùJeanne Murray Walker
ôMost of us recognize the name John Wyclif and associate it with the translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible into English. Admirers will add that Wyclif was one of the most prominent philosophers and theologians of the second half of the fourteenth century. Others will call him heretic for his condemnation of what he saw as corruption in the Catholic Church and especially for his attack on the ChurchÆs doctrine of transubstantiation. If we want to know the facts of WyclifÆs life, we can consult an encyclopedia or biography. If we want to know John Wyclif, and maybe ourselves, we should read Thom SatterleeÆs poetry collection Burning Wyclif.ö ùRobert A. Fink, from the Introduction
Sometimes you have to raise the body up
to burn it down. So it was with Wyclif,
who rested forty-two years under chancel stone
condemned by the Papacy, protected by the Crown.
Finally, a bishop came with a few men,
spades, shovels, a horse and cart. By then,
not much was left of Wyclifùhair and skin gone,
his bones slipped out of place inside the simple alb
theyÆd buried him in. The bishop gathered what he could.
Beside the River Swift, he lit a pile of wood
and tossed the bones on one at a time,
cursing the heretic from limb to limb.
Afterwards, they shoveled ash into the water
and no one even thought the word martyr.