Today’s a special day for the dead. It begins a time when monks shield their faces with their cowls on processions to cemeteries. A time when we surround ourselves with the memento mori of skulls and ghouls and graves. But why hold such a day when we are alive and part of a culture that … More Why Bury the Dead?
What do you think is the word Gerard Manley Hopkins uses the most in his poetry? Maybe it’s something that has entered into our imagination as decidedly Hopkinsian. Something like dappled. That is a word we associate with the Victorian priest-poet so much that there’s even a magazine named after it, Dappled Things. But that word only … More Distance Reading with Gerard Manley 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?
Be honest. You just read that in Giles’s smooth accent. But let’s transition to another accent for today. One a little less smooth, one that inexplicably transitioned to a rebellious Cockney. Yes, dear readers, let’s think of William the Bloody, but not just in any way, but as William, the Bloody Awful Poet. We know … More Last Time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer…
Have no idea what’s wrong with T.S. Eliot but you’re sure its something? Cringe whenever you hear the name Ezra Pound? Just think generally that poetry isn’t for you? Well you’re in the right place. First maybe don’t start with the high modernists (Eliot, Pound, and such). Their poetry is wonderful, but it can be frustrating on … More Think Poetry’s Not for You?
What do you think of when you hear about Emily Dickinson? Maybe you picture a carriage populated by Death and Immortality. Or maybe you remember trying to piece together how a life could possibly be a loaded gun. Or maybe above all you think of a private life in the town of Amherst. Emily Dickinson has … More Emily’s Letter to Us
Today’s a special day for the dead. A day when monks shield their faces with their cowls on processions to cemeteries. A day when we surround ourselves with the memento mori of skulls and ghouls and graves. But why hold such a day when we are alive and part of a culture that wants to … More Man the Mausoleum-Maker
How often do you think about Luke Skywalker? Maybe just when a new rumor comes out along with a picture of a bearded Mark Hamill. Or only when you brush past that dusty box of the unaltered trilogy on VHS that you still have even though you don’t have a player. Or maybe you just … More Heroism of the Little Moments
I’m now in the middle of migrating to Georgia and haven’t been able to update the blog as much as I like. Monastic Mondays will still go strong, but here’s Reggie Watts on literature to tide you over for the time being. The takeaway: Don’t be dead, ‘kay?
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?