Kalenderes enlumined been they That in this world been lighted with thy name – Chaucer’s “Priere a Nostre Dame” Chaucer can be hard to pin down. At many points, we can ask ourselves “Is he serious?” or “Is this all an elaborate parody?” At other, darker times we may question if he really was “evere … More Chaucer’s Almighty and al Merceable Queene
The Mother of Sorrows A PATHETICAL DESCANT UPON THE DEVOUT PLAIN- SONG OF STABAT MATER DOLOROSA I In shade of Death’s sad tree Stood doleful she. Ah she, now by none other Name to be known, alas, but Sorrow’s Mother. Before her eyes Hers and the whole World’s Joy, Hanging all torn, she sees; and […]
With his emphasis on the embodiment of Christ in his poetry, the priest-poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins has quite a few seasonal poems to choose from. Last year, we looked at one of his darker Christmas poems, but I thought we would be a little more festive this year. The stanza above is from “Ad Matrem Virginem,” … More Christmas with Hopkins
I’m about to start a series on genre, looking at what it means for literature and even our general speech acts through the thought of Mikhail Bakhtin. Until then, here’s a look at the lesser known genre of Marian poetry for today. It’s a fascinating genre with some fuzzy boundaries. What poems should we include … More What Can Poetry Do?
The Mother of Sorrows A PATHETICAL DESCANT UPON THE DEVOUT PLAIN- SONG OF STABAT MATER DOLOROSA I In shade of Death’s sad tree Stood doleful she. Ah she, now by none other Name to be known, alas, but Sorrow’s Mother. Before her eyes Hers and the whole World’s Joy, Hanging all torn, she sees; and … More A Retreat with Hopkins: The Ninth Hour
What do you give a monk on his birthday? Especially a Trappist monk? I mean, every single one of them has an acronym that means “of the strict observance” after his or her name. That sounds kinda stark. So I’m guessing no paper hats. And the balloon animals are probably a no go too. So … More It’s Thomas Merton’s Birthday!
We may think of poetry as a frivolous nicety. Something for unemployed graduate students and English teachers. We may have repeated to ourselves the old mantra from Auden’s poem about Yeats that “poetry makes nothing happen.” It’s only an assortment of words, with tired rhymes or childish puns. What can it do besides give me a feeling? … More What Can Poetry Do?