Most religious poetry can be either highly sentimental or very pietistic. It was T.S. Eliot who said that many religious playwrights write their heroes as they WISH them to be, not dramatizing them as they ARE, with all their faults and honest shortcomings.
I totally agree and feel this observation can apply to poetry as well. Certainly we want verse that is uplifting, full of vision and idealistic achievement. But the spiritual journey I am referring to involves many turbulent travels, as well as twists and severe jolts along the road. Unity with God has never been an easy task, both for the agnostic searcher as well as for the ardent believer. Yet it is those people in that quandary of grueling questioning that I somehow hope to reach. That is why some of these verses have some edgy realism. But a true spiritual journey must at times be realistic and not totally evasive of life’s darker side.
But I hope these poems are inspirational to those in their quest. May their journeys find them their rewards, or as the scholar said, hopefully, “their journey will be their reward.”