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City under Siege

Sonnets and Other Verse

Mark Amorose

Praise for City under Siege

“In City under Siege, poet Mark Amorose ranges widely across Western history. In poem after poem of elegant formality (Amorose is a master of the Italian sonnet), the reader is taken on a journey from the pre-Christian world through biblical times, on to the high noon of medieval Christendom, and finally, through a flawed Reformation, Enlightenment, and Romanticism, to the spiritual wastelands of modernity. Amorose praises creation, the Catholic Church, Mary, angels, saints, and martyrs—his sonnet on English martyr Robert Southwell is magnificent; and he condemns reductive scientism, soulless commercialism, self-serving relativism, and widespread violations of the Church’s teachings on sexuality. City under Siege is contemporary Catholic poetry at its finest. And it is an heroic defense of the City of God, a city now under siege, yet against which, in the end, no force can ever prevail.”

— DAVID MIDDLETON, Poet-in-Residence Emeritus, Nicholls State University

“Mark Amorose, a master of the sonnet and epigram, is a rare poet, one who overcomes poetry’s most difficult challenge: religious poems. In his book’s title, City under Siege, Amorose hints that America’s culture is collapsing and its faith failing, while poetry saves our social and spiritual challenges with the help of God. Like the passionate Gerard Manley Hopkins, Amorose also writes poems with richly rhyming verse, a love of nature, and the wisdom of the gospels. Christians of every denomination should read this book and pass it on to friends and neighbors, to be further inspired by the author’s art.”

— PAUL LAKE, poetry editor, First Things

“Mark Amorose’s poetry comes out of the New Formalist tradition, and indeed offers a fine example of it. Time and again I was impressed by his embrace of poetic form to guide his grammar, rhythm, and logic to realize what is at once a classical plain style and an assured religious sensibility. While many poets today confine their subject matter within the bounds of what is taken for most common or familiar in our time, Amorose has found a way to build up an entire poetic out of our Faith and devotion.”

— JAMES MATTHEW WILSON, Associate Professor of Religion and Literature, Villanova University

“While City under Siege depicts the false gods and deep flaws of contemporary hedonistic culture, the collection is not despairing. Rather, it offers encouragement by calling on the traditional theological virtues. Faith is illustrated in poems on Boethius, St. Mark, Joan of Arc, and Eusebio Kino, the Arizona missionary. Hope shines through ‘another spring of Christendom’ (‘Spring’). Love is at hand in ‘First Sight’ (on viewing an ultrasound of a child in utero) and ‘Christmas Diptych.’ Mark Amorose calls on both present and past, the quotidian and the exceptional, to remind readers that ‘the holy city, seen of John’ still shines.”

— CATHARINE SAVAGE BROSMAN, author of On the Old Plaza; poetry editor, Chronicles

“One of the most encouraging developments in recent years has been the emergence of a new generation of fine Catholic poets, and Mark Amorose is one of the finest. Having enjoyed his poetry for years, I am delighted that Angelico Press has published this volume of his verse.”

— JOSEPH PEARCE, Writer-in-Residence, Aquinas College; director of the Aquinas Center for Faith and Culture

About the Author

Mark Amorose

MARK AMOROSE’s poems have appeared in First ThingsModern AgeChronicles, and the St. Austin Review, as well as in literary magazines such as MeasureThe Lyric, and Dappled Things. A previous collection of his poems, In the Saguaro Forest, was published in 2012. Mr. Amorose lives in Arizona with his wife and children.