We treasure hymns for their messages of comfort or conviction or for their associations with beloved believers and meaningful events. But many hymns are also powerful works of devotional poetry—displaying levels of artistry that we easily miss when we are simply singing through them.
This anthology of great hymns invites us to experience these works as poems—to slow down and savor their well-turned phrases, their surprising metaphors, and their evocative language. English professor Leland Ryken provides historical background and literary analysis for each hymn, finishing each with a Scripture reading to accompany it. The result is a wonderfully devotional and poetic study of the Christian life, drawing on hymns such as “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “Be Thou My Vision,” “In Christ Alone,” and many more.