Noah and The Ark by Sally Ellis
“Noah and The Ark” is a short collection of poems loosely based on the Noah story in the Bible. For the most part, the poems are light-hearted and clever. The quick review is this: The poems are okay; some are clever and entertaining. Many others one will probably never think about twice. The theology, on the other hand, seems flawed. I’ll skip my discussion of theology for now and talk about one of the poems.
One of the more interesting and humorous poems focused on termites and the dilemma of how to deal with termites on a boat made of wood. The termites want in, but Noah wants them out. I won’t spoil the end of it for you, so I’ll just say that the poem is cute (as many of the poems are in this book).
One can read this whole book in about an hour. It’s only 56 pages, and many of the pages are only one-fourth filled. Milton’s “Paradise Lost” this ain’t…
Overall, it was the humanistic take on theology that ruined this book for me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a little personification of animals for the sake of art, or some imagined dialogue between biblical characters. I’ve read a lot of literature, and a fair amount of poetry. But one thing that bugs me is when someone takes a traditional concept from the Bible and mischaracterizes it. For example, the last poem in the book seems to go against what most Bible-believers would accept as an acceptable depiction of God. The author, Sally Ellis, characterizes God as a failure. She writes her characterization of God as saying, “My first attempt at love I blew,”. . . “How infantile the fits I threw, raging like a child of two.” Earlier, Ellis characterizes the failures of man as being God’s fault because “I made him in My image, so it’s not his fault, forsooth.” “It’s My imagination that dooms him to the bad; he struggles in My image.” For me, the book edges uncomfortably close to blasphemy (and perhaps it is, but I certainly don’t assume to know what exactly was in Ms. Ellis’s heart and mind when she wrote her poems).
However, I would argue that the concept of being made in “His image” has to do with having free-will, and free-will means the ability to make choices, good or bad. Without getting into a long discourse into theology, my point is that I think this book advocates a humanistic mindset—the “it’s not my fault because God made me this way” kind of excuse-making that inevitably leads one down a dangerous path where no person takes responsibility for his/her actions. And that, my dear reader, is why I really didn’t like this book.
I received a complimentary copy of “Noah and the Ark” as a member of the
Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit dorrancebookstore.com
to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.
Here’s a direct link to the publisher’s website where the book can be purchased: http://dorrance.stores.yahoo.net/noahandark.html