Year in Review

Janus Bifrons by Adolphe Giraldon

We’ve have quite a busy year! Our daughter, Eleanor, was born in March. I taught a class on fairy tales, and came away from it thinking Where the Wild Things Are is more genius than I ever realized (more on that in a later post). And I finished my comprehensive exams, preparing to teach in classes on the Victorian and medieval periods and philosophical hermeneutics.

With everything that’s going on, I thought we would take a look at some of the most viewed posts on the blog so far.

Most popular posts this year

1. What is Medievalism?

We can’t get enough of Lord of the Rings or Arthurian romance or even quirky cartoons like Adventure Time, but how do we interpret these medievalesque stories written so much later? Find out here as we take a look at medievalism and where the discipline (or antidiscipline) might go in the future.

2. Celebrating Pentecost King Arthur Style

Did you know that Pentecost is an important day in the high order of knighthood? In this post, we begin our exploration of the impact liturgical time has on Arthurian lore.

3. Discovering the Poetry of Father Hopkins

Take a look at what it was like to be into Gerard Manley Hopkins before it was cool.

4. Operation Eleanor

This is where we announced the coming birth of our daughter. We’re still open to book suggestions if you have any. Right now her favorite books are Where the Wild Things Are and dePaola’s The Friendly Beasts.

5. Thomas Merton on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

We need to hear Thomas Merton’s words and keep asking ourselves when have we promoted an “atmosphere of devotion” for destructive power.

You can read Merton’s poem, “Original Child Bomb,” here, or listen to a recording of it below produced and narrated by Vincent Di Stefano

[archiveorg id=ThomasMertonOriginalChildBomb width=500 height=140]

Most popular posts last year

1. Ten Bookish People You Should Follow on Twitter

There might just be donuts on the other side of this link…

2. How to Read Literature Like a Monk

And by monk, I don’t mean Br. Monday. He’s not much of a reader…

3. 3 Reasons Why You Should Read Difficult Poems

Find out why it’s a good thing when a poem resists understanding after the first reading.

4. All Shall Be Well

I think everyone needs to hear how “al shal be wel, and al shal be wel, and al manner of thyng shal be wele.

5. El Pájaro por Octavio Paz

Una poema que se trata de silencio, un pájaro, y la muerte.

Popular posts from the first year

1. The Power of Language to Transform the Human Heart

When Gerard Manley Hopkins writes a poem about a blacksmith and addresses him as one who “didst fettle for the great gray drayhorse his bright and battering sandal,” he is not merely bringing the blacksmith to life, but in a way is bringing us to life as well. Through the sound, rhythm, passion of his words, he is bringing to life in us, as might never have been brought to life at all, a sense of the uniqueness and mystery and holiness not just of the blacksmith and his great gray drayhorse, but of the reality itself, including the reality of ourselves.

– Frederick Buechner

2. Why the Leaden Echo Isn’t Enough

Find out why this beautiful song is only half the story.

3. A Person is a Student is a Customer is a Product is a Thing

I think the Margaret Atwood bump helped here…

4. 5 Myths about Writing

Judging from the keyword searches leading to this post, I think people are looking for ways to write the 5-paragraph essay instead of the hard truth that it’s a teaching tool that can get in the way when we start college.

5. Relational Reading

Well, I think language does bring us together. Fragile and misleading as it is, it’s the best communication we’ve got, and poetry is language at its most intense and potentially fulfilling. Poems do bring people together.

William Stafford

What’s Next?

This coming year, expect some posts about Eleanor and books. I really need to write about why I think Maurice Sendak really knows his stuff when it comes to fairy tales as a genre. I also want to take some time to consider the recent contribution to Jedi pedagogy and what it means for the mystery of failure in The Last Jedi. And there will be a lot on time, narrative, and liturgy because that’s what I’ll be looking into for the next few years.

Which posts were your favorites? What would you like to see more of? Doing a year in review post on your blog? Go ahead and link to your post below in the comments.


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