Help Me Be: Praying in Poems

This collection of poems is my fearless attempt to vigorously express and create poems in the rhythm and rhyme of standard American poetry, in the passion and provocative nature of the American spoken word tradition, and in the daring honesty of Biblical poems.

The poems are organized in three sections: Orientation (Life’s Good), Disorientation (Life’s Not Good), and New Orientation (Life’s Good Again).

As the earth continues to orbit around the sun, may these poems draw you into the gravitational pull of the Creator and may you be set free and empowered to expand and experience life in its fullest dimensions.

What Others Are Saying About Help Me Be

“Pastor and spoken word practitioner Dale Fredrickson has put together an exuberant collection of his poems in Help Me Be. His passion for Scripture and unquenchable belief in the ultimate triumph of grace in the midst of human struggle is evident throughout this book–which also provides a valuable exploration of faithful discipleship that isn’t afraid to engage the imagination. As he writes in one of his poems: ‘I want a will that wills you/open, wholehearted and true.’ This isn’t just Dale’s ars poetica, but the key to his effectiveness as a pastor/minister as well.”
-Rev. Daniel Klawitter, author of the poetry chapbooks Runaway Muse and An Epistemology Of Flesh

“This collection offers a fresh articulation of an ancient, but ever-relevant, tradition–the use of poetry to experience and express the realities of human life and connections with the divine. Fredrickson captures the language, rhythms, and themes of the Bible’s classic psalms and prayers and unites them with the highs and lows of authentic, contemporary living. Those who pray often, pray rarely, or struggle to pray at all, will find here a new resource for honest faith in the midst of the realities of life–poetic prayers that are short on naiveté but long on hope.”
-Brad E. Kelle, Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Point Loma Nazarene University

“Dale Fredrickson’s book of poems offers churches a tremendously important resource. In an age of prose, in which all too often, pastors speak a didactic and tedious language, we need more poetry. Dale’s book offers us words that give form to the deep experience of wrestling with God and each other in a way that harnesses rather than diminishes or explains away the power inherent in the struggle itself. In the spirit of the biblical tradition, his poems give voice to our deepest feelings of restlessness, express our anger with God’s passivity in the face of injustice, and capture the awe that can knock us over when we behold the wonders of God’s creation. What burns in the hearts of the faithful comes to life starkly and beautifully in these poems.”
-Amy Erickson, Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible, Iliff School of Theology

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