The Diary of an Old Soul & the White Page Poems

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In 1880, George MacDonald, the Scottish poet, novelist and preacher, in the wake of the deaths of two of his children, published A Book of Strife in the Form of the Diary of an Old Soul . This book, which unites grief and hope in hard-won faith, contains a poem for every day of the year. In the first edition of this classic collection there was a blank page opposite each page of poems. Readers were invited to write their own reflections on the "white page." MacDonald wrote: "Let your white page be ground, my print be seed, growing to golden ears, that faith and hope may feed." 

Betty Aberlin, a native New Yorker of Russian-Jewish ancestry, raised in post-Holocaust orthodox atheism and nurtured in the arts, responded to MacDonald's invitation with daily poems of her own. Following the strict poetic form of The Diary of an Old Soul was an illuminating experience. In her own 7-line, 3-rhyme, 10-syllable pattern, Aberlin created a unique mixture of recurring themes and images drawing from Judaism, Christianity and her experiences as an actress and artist. 

​​Her vision is fresh and honest, revealing a keen observation of nature and human nature, from the exhilarations of faith, hope and love to the despairs of war, rejection and failure. Aberlin opens a path into spiritual reflection for the thoughtful reader to follow.

Accolades for The White Page Poems:
"In this labor of love, Betty Aberlin's close readings of George MacDonald's verses, and her thoughtful responses to them speak clearly of her poetic gifts and spiritual intelligence." 
​                  Luci Shaw, poet and author.

“An awesome collection and collaboration." Daniel Berrigan, SJ, poet-in-residence, Fordham University. 

"A fascinating new book . . . fresh and incisive." 
                  ​Don King, author of C.S. Lewis, Poet.
224 pages
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