Musical settings of the story of Christ's Passion, as recounted by St. Matthew, date back to antiquity. First incorporated into the liturgy as a chant for Palm Sunday, the Passion text of St. Matthew developed over the centuries into elaborate settings for choir and soloists with instrumental accompaniment. J. S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion is widely acknowledged as the pinnacle of this tradition and, even more, as one of the greatest achievements of Western music. Award-winning poet and composer John Reeves here offers twenty-one verse meditations directly inspired by Bach's masterpiece. Written and arranged to be heard as well as read, these eloquent poems capture Reeves's own experience of hearing Bach's work performed in various cities around the world. They also reflect imaginatively on the role of the Passion in the creative and spiritual life of Bach and on the central place of the Passion in church worship. The poems are introduced and linked by short passages of prose. These identify the cities visited by Reeves, annotate Bach's response to the Passion as a believer and composer, evoke the various church liturgies commemorating the Passion, and relate each poem to the point reached in the Passion story. The inclusion of a fine English translation of Bach's libretto at the end of the volume adds value to Reeves's creative work. Transcending sectarian differences and appealing to anyone with a love of music and a respect for the Christian tradition, this beautiful book offers unique insights that will enhance personal reflection on the Passion and awaken deeper appreciation of Bach.