Lewis was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably the most influential religious writer of his day. An Oxford don and scholar of medieval literature, he loved to debate philosophy at his local pub, and his wartime broadcasts on the basics of Christian belief made him a celebrity in his native Britain. Yet one of the most intriguing aspects of Clive Staples Lewis remains a mystery. How did this middle-aged Irish bachelor turn to the writing of stories for children -- stories that would become among the most popular and beloved ever written?
Alan Jacobs masterfully tells the story of the original Narnian. From Lewis's childhood days in Ireland playing with his brother, Warnie, to his horrific experiences in the trenches during World War I, to his friendship with J. R. R. Tolkien (and other members of the "Inklings"), and his remarkable late-life marriage to Joy Davidman, Jacobs traces the events and people that shaped Lewis's philosophy, theology, and fiction. The result is much more than a conventional biography of Lewis: Jacobs tells the story of a profound and extraordinary imagination. For those who grew up with Narnia, or for those just discovering it, The Narnian tells a remarkable tale of a man who knew great loss and great delight, but who knew above all that the world holds far more richness and meaning than the average eye can see.
The book's chief maker, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, created it as the authoritative manual of Christian worship throughout England. But as Jacobs recounts, the book has had a variable and dramatic career in the complicated history of English church politics, and has been the focus of celebrations, protests, and even jail terms. As time passed, new forms of the book were made to suit the many English-speaking nations: first in Scotland, then in the new United States, and eventually wherever the British Empire extended its arm. Over time, Cranmer's book was adapted for different preferences and purposes. Jacobs vividly demonstrates how one book became many--and how it has shaped the devotional lives of men and women across the globe.
Do we arrive in this world predisposed to evil? St. Augustine passionately argued that we do; his opponents thought the notion was an insult to a good God. Ever since Augustine, the church has taught the doctrine of original sin, which is the idea that we are not born innocent, but as babes we are corrupt, guilty, and worthy of condemnation. Thus started a debate that has raged for centuries and done much to shape Western civilization.
Perhaps no Christian doctrine is more controversial; perhaps none is more consequential. Blaise Pascal claimed that "but for this mystery, the most incomprehensible of all, we remain incomprehensible to ourselves." Chesterton affirmed it as the only provable Christian doctrine. Modern scholars assail the idea as baleful and pernicious. But whether or not we believe in original sin, the idea has shaped our most fundamental institutions—our political structures, how we teach and raise our young, and, perhaps most pervasively of all, how we understand ourselves. In Original Sin, Alan Jacobs takes readers on a sweeping tour of the idea of original sin, its origins, its history, and its proponents and opponents. And he leaves us better prepared to answer one of the most important questions of all: Are we really, all of us, bad to the bone?
In this new collection, Jacobs offers essays for companionable wayfaring. To be a Christian, he says, is to be a wayfarer, to move hopefully towards a cherished goal. These essays are a wayfarer s notes, a record of ideas and experiences encountered on the pilgrim path. Gathered here are pieces serious and comic, eloquent and interesting. Jacobs muses on the usefulness and dangers of blogging, the art of dictionary making, the world of Harry Potter, and an appreciation of trees. He also includes several book reviews, including a wickedly witty poem.
With Wayfaring, Jacobs continues his tradition of exploring Christian theology and experience by way of the essay, bringing serious musings within reach of us all.
The Conquest of the Americas.
The Jewish Holocaust.
Mention of these events evokes a variety of responses from Christians, including guilt, defensiveness, and bewilderment. Given such a tangled historical relationship to aggression and injustice, how can Christians answer those who argue that our faith is inherently violent, or that Christian doctrines inevitably lead to sacrifice, conquest, and war?
In Must Christianity Be Violent? editors Kenneth R. Chase and Alan Jacobs have gathered pointed essays that provide specific responses to these arguments. Divided into "histories," "practices," and "theologies," the essays explore the historical causation of Christian violence and discuss practices that promote what one contributor calls "just peacemaking."
The contributors explore the history of Christian violence and advocate the need for an uncompromised biblical theology in our search for peace. This timely collection will appeal to readers of Christian history, ethics, and theology, and those who want to better understand the specifically Christian response to violence and cultivation of peace.
Looking Before and After encourages us to ask how individual lives can, in a specifically Christian sense, be meaningful, how we can discern and rightly interpret those meanings, and how we might tell our own stories in ways that avoid the dangers of presumption and despair. In his typically beautiful writing style, Jacobs here reinvigorates narrative theology and demonstrates the power of individual life stories well told and properly understood.
How to Think is a contrarian treatise on why we’re not as good at thinking as we assume—but how recovering this lost art can rescue our inner lives from the chaos of modern life.
As a celebrated cultural critic and a writer for national publications like The Atlantic and Harper’s, Alan Jacobs has spent his adult life belonging to communities that often clash in America’s culture wars. And in his years of confronting the big issues that divide us—political, social, religious—Jacobs has learned that many of our fiercest disputes occur not because we’re doomed to be divided, but because the people involved simply aren’t thinking.
Most of us don’t want to think. Thinking is trouble. Thinking can force us out of familiar, comforting habits, and it can complicate our relationships with like-minded friends. Finally, thinking is slow, and that’s a problem when our habits of consuming information (mostly online) leave us lost in the spin cycle of social media, partisan bickering, and confirmation bias.
In this smart, endlessly entertaining book, Jacobs diagnoses the many forces that act on us to prevent thinking—forces that have only worsened in the age of Twitter, “alternative facts,” and information overload—and he also dispels the many myths we hold about what it means to think well. (For example: It’s impossible to “think for yourself.”)
Drawing on sources as far-flung as novelist Marilynne Robinson, basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain, British philosopher John Stuart Mill, and Christian theologian C.S. Lewis, Jacobs digs into the nuts and bolts of the cognitive process, offering hope that each of us can reclaim our mental lives from the impediments that plague us all. Because if we can learn to think together, maybe we can learn to live together, too.
The Tao Te Ching is the most widely traslated book in world literature, after the Bible. Yet the gemlike lucidity of the original has eluded most previous translations, and they have obscured some of its central ideas. Now the Tao Te ching has been rendered into English by the eminent scholar and traslator Stephen Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell's Dropping Ashes on the Buddha is a modern Zen classic, and his translations of Rilke and of the Book of Job have already been called definitive for our time.
From the Hardcover edition.
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Thus begins “Phenomenal Woman,” just one of the beloved poems collected here in Maya Angelou’s third book of verse. These poems are powerful, distinctive, and fresh—and, as always, full of the lifting rhythms of love and remembering. And Still I Rise is written from the heart, a celebration of life as only Maya Angelou has discovered it.
“It is true poetry she is writing,” M.F.K. Fisher has observed, “not just rhythm, the beat, rhymes. I find it very moving and at times beautiful. It has an innate purity about it, unquenchable dignity. . . . It is astounding, flabbergasting, to recognize it, in all the words I read every day and night . . . it gives me heart, to hear so clearly the caged bird singing and to understand her notes.”
From the Hardcover edition.
This edition presents the original twelve poems from Whitman's premier 1855 publication of Leaves of Grass. Included are some of the greatest poems of modern times: "Song of Myself," "I Sing the Body Electric," and "There Was a Child Went Forth," works that continue to upset conventional notions of beauty and originality even today.
Introduced and annotated throughout by world expert Suheil Bushrui, this revised and updated edition is a truly enlightening experience for anyone seeking solace and wisdom in the chaotic modern age.
Few gnomic collections in the world's literary history present sounder wisdom more tersely expressed than the Havamal. Like the Book of Proverbs it occasionally rises to lofty heights of poetry. If it presents the worldly wisdom of a violent race, it also shows noble ideals of loyalty, truth, and unfaltering courage.
Over time other poems were added to the original content dealing with wisdom which seemed, by their nature, to imply that the speaker was Odin. Thus a catalogue of runes, or charms, was tacked on, and also a set of proverbs. Here and there bits of verse crept in; and of course the loose structure of the poem made it easy for any reciter to insert new stanzas almost at will. This curious miscellany is what we now have as the Havamal
Five separate elements are pretty clearly recognizable: (1) the Havamal proper (stanzas 1-80), a collection of proverbs and counsels for the conduct of life; (2) the Loddfafnismol (stanzas 111-138), a collection somewhat similar to the first, but specifically addressed to a certain Loddfafnir; (3) the Ljothatal (stanzas 147-165), a collection of charms; (4) the lovestory of Odin and Billing's daughter (stanzas 96-102); (5) the story of how Odin got the mead of poetry from the maiden Gunnloth (stanzas 103-110). There is also a brief passage (stanzas 139-146) telling how Odin won the runes, this passage being a natural introduction to the Ljothatal, and doubtless brought into the poem for that reason.
33% of the net profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.
Gibran's best-known work, 'The Prophet' is composed of twenty-six poetic essays. Its popularity grew markedly during the 1960s with the American counterculture and then with the flowering of the New Age movements. It has remained popular with these and with the wider population to this day. Since it was first published in 1923, it has never been out of print, and has been translated into more than forty languages.
General Press is proud to bring together, for the first time in ebook form, all of Gibran’s works into a single collection.
This collection features the following works:
A Tear and a Smile
The Broken Wings
The Earth Gods
The Garden of the Prophet
I Believe in You
Jesus the Son of Man
Lazarus and His Beloved
The Madman—His Parables and Poems
The New Frontier
Sand and Foam
The Wanderer—His Parables and His Sayings
You Have Your Lebanon and I Have My Lebanon
Your Thought and Mine
Watch for the new collection of poetry from Terrance Hayes, American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, coming in June of 2018
Terrance Hayes is an elegant and adventurous writer with disarming humor, grace, tenderness, and brilliant turns of phrase. He is very much interested in what it means to be an artist and a black man. In his first collection, Muscular Music, he took the reader through a living library of cultural icons, from Shaft and Fat Albert to John Coltrane and Miles Davis. His second collection, Hip Logic, continued these explorations of popular culture, fatherhood, cultural heritage, and loss. Wind in a Box, Hayes’s resonant new collection, continues his interest in how traditions (of poetry and culture alike) can be simultaneously upended and embraced. The struggle for freedom (the wind) within containment (the box) is the unifying motif as Hayes explores how identity is shaped by race, heritage, and spirituality. This new book displays not only what the Los Angeles Times calls the range of a "bold virtuoso," but also the imaginative fervor of a poet in love with poetry.
More than any other Persian poet—even Rumi—Hafiz expanded the mystical, healing dimensions of poetry. Because his poems were often ecstatic love songs from God to his beloved world, many have called Hafiz the "Invisible Tongue." Indeed, Daniel Ladinsky has said that his work with Hafiz is an attempt to do the impossible: to render Light into words—to make the Luminous Resonance of God tangible to our finite senses.
a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath moves
listen to this
With this stunning collection of Hafiz's most intimate poems, Ladinsky has succeeded brilliantly in presenting the essence of one of Islam's greatest poetic and religious voices. Each line of The Gift imparts the wonderful qualities of this master Sufi poet and spiritual teacher: encouragement, an audacious love that touches lives, profound knowledge, generosity, and a sweet, playful genius unparalleled in world literature.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters…
These are the opening lines to one of the most memorized, inspirational, and comforting passages in the Bible—and one of the greatest poems of all time. In six verses, it provides a microcosm of God’s grace. When anxiety robs us of sleep, our most powerful “tranquilizer” is Psalm 23. It’s a soul-soother. It appears in the middle of a trilogy of psalms dealing with our past, our present, and our future needs.
In The Lord is My Shepherd, Morgan teaches Psalm 23 verse-by-verse, explaining its extraordinary power to change lives and ease our troubles. He shares its fascinating context and colorful background, as well as his own charming, real-life stories of herding sheep. You’ll find encouragement to enjoy the “green pastures” of life while becoming strengthened by the “dark valleys.” Furthermore, Morgan maintains that some of the Bible’s richest truths are summarized in these six simple verses of Psalm 23. In knowing the Good Shepherd, we have total resources for all our internal, external, and eternal needs.
Through this clear explanation of the biblical text and great stories that illustrate the love and care of the shepherd, The Lord is My Shepherd will help you rediscover the joy, inspiration, and peace in the green pastures of this beloved psalm.
Gene Reeves's new translation appeals to readers with little or no familiarity with technical Buddhist vocabulary, as well as long-time practitioners and students. In addition, this remarkable volume includes the full "threefold" text of this classic.
The present volume reproduces with excellent clarity all 135 plates that Doré produced for The Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. From the depths of hell onto the mountain of purgatory and up to the empyrean realms of paradise, Doré's illustrations depict the passion and grandeur of Dante's masterpiece in such famous scenes as the embarkation of the souls for hell, Paolo and Francesca (four plates), the forest of suicides, Thaïs the harlot, Bertram de Born holding his severed head aloft, Ugolino (four plates), the emergence of Dante and Virgil from hell, the ascent up the mountain, the flight of the eagle, Arachne, the lustful sinners being purged in the seventh circle, the appearance of Beatrice, the planet Mercury, and the first splendors of paradise, Christ on the cross, the stairway of Saturn, the final vision of the Queen of Heaven, and many more.
Each plate is accompanied by appropriate lines from the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow translation of Dante's work.
Through the voices of ten inspiring poets and his own reflections, the author of Sacred America shows how poetry illuminates the eternal feelings and desires that stir the human heart and soul. These poems explore such universal themes as the awakening of wonder, the longing for love, the wisdom of dreams, and the courage required to live an authentic life. In thoughtful commentary on each work, Housden offers glimpses into his personal spiritual journey and invites readers to contemplate the significance of the poet's message in their own lives.
In Ten Poems to Change Your Life, Roger Housden shows how these astonishing poems can inspire you to live what you always knew in your bones but never had the words for.
"The Journey" by Mary Oliver
"Last Night as I Was Sleeping" by Antonio Machado
"Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman
"Zero Circle" by Rumi
"The Time Before Death" by Kabir
"Ode to My Socks" by Pablo Neruda
"Last Gods" by Galway Kinnell
"For the Anniversary of My Death" by W. S. Merwin
"Love After Love" by Derek Walcott
"The Dark Night" by St. John of the Cross
John Milton’s Paradise Lost, an epic poem on the clash between God and his fallen angel, Satan, is a profound meditation on fate, free will, and divinity, and one of the most beautiful works in world literature. Extracted from the Modern Library’s highly acclaimed The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, this edition reflects up-to-date scholarship and includes a substantial Introduction, fresh commentary, and other features—annotations on Milton’s classical allusions, a chronology of the writer’s life, clean page layouts, and an index—that make it the definitive twenty-first-century presentation of John Milton’s timeless signature work.
Through his lyrical translations, Coleman Barks has been instrumental in bringing this exquisite literature to a remarkably wide range of readers, making the ecstatic, spiritual poetry of thirteenth-century Sufi Mystic Rumi more popular than ever.
The Essential Rumi continues to be the bestselling of all Rumi books, and the definitive selection of his beautiful, mystical poetry.
John O'Donohue won hundreds of thousands of admirers with his now classic work on Celtic spirituality Anam Cara. Unfortunately he died suddenly at age fifty-two just as his book of blessings, To Bless the Space Between Us, was being published. The loss of his powerfully wise and lyrical voice has been profoundly missed, but his many readers are given a special opportunity to revisit John in a new book based on a series of papers he wrote on the elements of water, stone, air, and fire, now published here for the first time. O'Donohue's readers know him as both a spiritual guide and a poet, and in this work he exhibits both qualities, sharing his Celtic heritage and his love for his native landscape in the west of Ireland. As O'Donohue explores a range of themes relating to the way we live our lives today, he reveals how the energy and rhythm of the natural world—its innocence and creativity, its power and splendor—hold profound lessons for us all. With a foreword written by his beloved brother, Pat, this illuminating book is an inspired reflection on the ancient wisdom of the earth.
Grown men aren’t supposed to cry…Yet in this fascinating anthology, one hundred men—distinguished in literature and film, science and architecture, theater and human rights—confess to being moved to tears by poems that continue to haunt them. Although the majority are public figures not prone to crying, here they admit to breaking down, often in words as powerful as the poems themselves.
Their selections include classics by visionaries, such as Walt Whitman, W.H. Auden, and Philip Larkin, as well as modern works by masters, including Billy Collins, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, and poets who span the globe from Pablo Neruda to Rabindranath Tagore. The poems chosen range from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first, with more than a dozen by women, including Mary Oliver, Elizabeth Bishop, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Their themes range from love in its many guises, through mortality and loss, to the beauty and variety of nature. All are moved to tears by the exquisite way a poet captures, in Alexander Pope’s famous phrase, “what oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d.”
From J.J. Abrams to John le Carré, Salman Rushdie to Jonathan Franzen, Daniel Radcliffe to Nick Cave to Stephen Fry, Stanley Tucci to Colin Firth to the late Christopher Hitchens, this collection delivers private insight into the souls of men whose writing, acting, and thinking are admired around the world. “Everyone who reads this collection will be roused: disturbed by the pain, exalted in the zest for joy given by poets” (Nadine Gordimer, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature).
It’s a humble sharing of Wisdom. I hope the words sound good when spoken allowed.
Leslie W Brown
Considered by many of his followers to be another St. Francis, Milarepa exchanged a life of sin and maliciousness for one of contemplation and love, eventually reaching a state of enlightenment. His thousands of extemporaneously composed songs have been widely sung and studied since they were first recorded and disseminated centuries ago by his disciples. This volume features the best and most highly esteemed of the religious leader's songs of love and compassion that include lessons on the negative aspects of ambition and the importance of finding inner peace. In addition, he stresses the briefness of life: ". . . so apply yourself to meditation. Avoid doing evil, and acquire merit, to the best of your ability, even at the cost of life itself. In short: Act so that you have no cause to be ashamed of yourselves and hold fast to this rule."
Whoever you are,
However you got here,
This is exactly where you are supposed to be.
This moment has waited its whole life for you.
These are the opening lines of "Today Means Amen," YouTube star Sierra deMulder’s immensely powerful and virally popular poem, which lends its title to this collection. Like her fellow Millennial poets Tyler Knot Gregson, Clementine von Radics, and Lang Leav, Sierra has the gift of speaking directly to the reader. “Today Means Amen” has become an anthem of sorts to thousands, who find themselves reflected in its pain, its fierceness, its tenderness — but also in its triumphant culminating refrain:
You made it
You made it
You made it
The poems in Sierra's new book explore the rocky terrains of love, family, and womanhood with this same remarkable honesty and generosity. Today Means Amen brings this important young poet's work to an even broader audience.
In The Soul in Love, Deepak Chopra presents us with five great writers whose lives span seven centuries: Rumi, the sublime Persian poet who sang out his verses in ecstatic longing for God. Mirabai, an Indian princess who walked away from her life of privilege to be closer to her Dark Lord. Kabir, born to a lowly family of weavers in India, only to rise to the heights of wisdom and song. Hafiz, an Islamic master who reveled in the joys of the flesh as a way to the soul. And Tagore, the celebrated modern Indian writer who first made the West aware of the richness of Eastern devotional poetry.
Returning to the theme that inspired The Love Poems of Rumi and On the Shores of Eternity, Deepak Chopra gives us a rapturous experience of human passion, inspired by the soul’s yearning for the sacred source
"Immortal love doesn’t need poetry. However, it is our good fortune that some of the God-intoxicated have written words that permit access into their ecstatic world. Particularly in the East, in that exotically woven
belt of lands that stretches from Arabia to the Indian subcontinent, poets and saints are never far apart.
In this collection I have gathered a few of the most revered, beginning in the medieval period and extending to this century. The name of Rumi has gathered much luster recently, but the others — Kabir, Hafiz, Tagore, and Mirabai — deserve just as much recognition. In their own cultures they stand as beacons of inspiration, largely because the common people have taken them into their hearts and continue joyfully to sing their words to this very day."
— From the Introduction
From the Hardcover edition.
The author describes economic hardship and social challenges as being as "regular as the turning seasons in my coming up years," and refers to her life in poverty as the "soil of my art." Through her stories and reflections, Julia Dinsmore puts a face on poverty and challenges readers to answer God's call to respond to poverty and its effects.
Rūmī produced an enormous body of work — as many as 2,500 mystical odes, 25,000 rhyming couplets, and 1,600 quatrains — some of it instructional, some personal and emotional, much of it sublimely beautiful. The present volume includes over 100 of his finest lyrics, including "The Marriage of True Minds," "The Children of Light," "The Man who Looked Back on his way to Hell," "The Ascending Soul," "The Pear-Tree of Illusion," "The Riddles of God," and many more.
"In some of these poems," says A. J. Arberry in the Introduction, "the mystic's passion is so exuberant, his imagination so overflowing, that we catch glimpses of the very madness of Divine experience."
Tagore's literary reputation is disproportionately influenced very much by regard for his poetry; however, he also wrote novels, essays, short stories, travelogues, dramas, and thousands of songs. The poems of Rabindranath Tagore are among the most haunting and tender in Indian and in world literature, expressing a profound and passionate human yearning. His ceaselessly inventive works deal with such subjects as the interplay between God and the world, the eternal and transient, and with the paradox of an endlessly changing universe that is in tune with unchanging harmonies. Poems such as 'Earth' and 'In the Eyes of a Peacock' present a picture of natural processes unaffected by human concerns, while others, as in 'Recovery 14', convey the poet's bewilderment about his place in the world.
Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit. He was highly influential in introducing the best of Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of modern South Asia.
(The Complete Works of Rabindranath Tagore by Rabindranath Tagore, 9788180320798)
For Wislawa Szymborska, the catalyst is a dream; for Robert Bly, being in the company of his ten-year-old son; for Gerald Stern, it is a grapefruit at breakfast; for Billy Collins, a cigarette. Dancing with Joy includes English and Italian classical and romantic works; early Chinese and Persian verse; and poets from Chile, France, Sweden, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and India, plus a range of contemporary American and English poets.
Whether inspiration is what you need, or an affirmation of what is already joyful in life, Dancing with Joy is a welcome treat for Housden’s numerous fans, as well as anyone looking for sheer happiness, marvelously expressed.
From the Hardcover edition.
In this stunning translation, Coleman Barks brings to light Rumi’s theme of “love as religion”—that to reach its most profound depths requires mindful practice—as well as love in its most meaningful form: soul friendship. These short poems by both Rumi and Shams Tabriz, rich in beauty and spiritual insight, capture the delight and the impermanence of these bonds that pierce deep into the human mind, heart, and soul.
Rumi’s poetry is honored and enjoyed by many traditions and cultures. Today, many people from all walks of life have moved beyond traditional notions of spirituality, embracing a sense of the sacred that transcends a singular religion, belief, or text. Rumi’s poetry speaks to them and nourishes their divine yearnings. Joyous and contemplative, provocative and playful, Rumi: Soul Fury is a sterling addition to the modern Rumi oeuvre, and is sure to be embraced by his wide and devoted readership.
“The definitive translation for our time.”
From Dante’s Inferno to Sartre’s No Exit, writers have been fascinated by visions of damnation. Within that rich literature of suffering, Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell–written when the poet was nineteen–provides an astonishing example of the grapple with self.
As a companion to Rimbaud’s journey, readers could have no better guide than Wyatt Mason. One of our most talented young translators and critics, Mason’s new version of A Season in Hell renders the music and mystery of Rimbaud’s tale of Hell on Earth with exceptional finesse and power.
This bilingual edition includes maps, a helpful chronology of Rimbaud’s life, and the unfinished suite of prose poems, Illuminations. With A Season in Hell, they cement Rimbaud’s reputation as one of the foremost, and most influential, writers in French literature.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
What is the Crab Syndrome? The Crab Mentality-Describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither can you." The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs in which one tries to escape over the side, but is relentlessly pulled down by the others in the pot.
1.This term is broadly associated with short-sighted, non-constructive thinking rather than a unified, long-term, constructive mentality. It is also often used colloqially in reference to individuals or communities attempting to "escape" a so-called "underprivileged life", but kept from doing so by those others of the same community or nation attempting to ride upon their coat-tails.
2. An abnormal, dysfunctional, retardation, disorder, that a community does not help or support, or give assistance to someone of their own community, who is trying to strive. To purposely hinder ones ability to succeed.
3. Referring to a community, or group of people, resembling crabs in a bucket. That when one tries to leave, the other crabs pull them back down. That if a person tries to excel in life their community does not help them, and prevents them from excelling or leaving the neighborhood or community. Describes a way of thinking, best describes by the phrase, “If I can’t have it neither can you!”
Wikipedia Definition-Crab mentality, sometimes referred to as crabs in the bucket, describes a way of thinking best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither can you." The metaphor refers to a pot of crabs. Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless "king of the hill" competition (or sabotage) which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise. The analogy in human behavior is that of a group that will attempt to "pull down" ( negate or diminish the importance of) any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, conspiracy or competitive feelings.
If you are looking for great poetry this is the book.