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“Behold, I Make All Things New” — A Forgotten Catholic Poet is Rediscovered
MERCHANTVILLE, NJ—With the release of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum liberating the Tridentine Liturgy, Pope Benedict XVI sent an unmistakable signal for modern Catholics to begin rediscovering and appreciating the Church’s rich heritage. In this spirit of renaissance, Arx Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Broken Crusts: Songs of Faith and Freedom by the outstanding 20th century Catholic poet, Clifford J. Laube (July 2007, paperback, 136 pages + illustrations, ISBN: 9781889758732, list price: $12.95).
Clifford Laube was born in poverty to a Colorado prospecting couple in 1891. When his mother’s health failed, his father put six-year-old Clifford and his three siblings into St. Vincent’s orphanage in Denver. It was here, under the loving care of the Daughters of Charity, that Laube “breathed the atmosphere of Catholic life at its purest and best,” as he would say in later years. At the age of twelve, Laube was baptized into the Catholic Church with his father’s permission.
From such humble beginnings, Laube’s drive and initiative spurred him to complete his high school education and eventually landed him a job as a reporter for the New York Daily News. After eight years, he moved on to the New York Times, retiring in 1953 as Day National News Editor.
During this time, Laube was also active in Catholic literature and arts. He was chairman of the executive board of the Catholic Poetry society of America from 1934 through 1937, and co-founder of Spirit magazine. He was elected to the Gallery of Living Catholic Authors in 1947 and was awarded honorary doctorates from Fordham University, Boston College, St. Bonaventure College, and Manhattan College.
But beyond these impressive career achievements, Laube possessed a love of the natural world, a strong attachment to family, and above all, a deep and ardent devotion to the transcendent God as revealed through the teachings of the Catholic Church. All of these characteristics come shining through in the poignant and beautifully crafted poems contained in Broken Crusts, examples of which may be found at http://www.arxpub.com/literary/BrokenCrusts.html
Clifford Laube died in 1974, just as the changes wrought in the aftermath of Vatican II were sweeping the Church. His wonderful poetry was swiftly forgotten in that tide of change which, in many dioceses, replaced the glorious and the transcendent with the banal and the faddish. But with the current surge of interest in traditional Church teachings and practices, especially among the young, it is hoped that Clifford Laube’s poetry, full of depth, ebullience, and love, will again find a willing and grateful audience.
Enhanced with artwork created by Laube’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Broken Crusts will occupy a treasured place in the homes of Catholic families and is especially well suited for students learning about the classical poetic forms in English.