Ring Out, Wild Bells

Happy New Year! Why don’t we celebrate with a section from In Memoriam A.H.H. Tennyson wrote this poem, with its cantos of raw grief enveloped by a calmer ring of a Prologue and an Epilogue, to mourn the untimely death of his friend. Part of the structure of this poem works around annual celebrations that work in the … More Ring Out, Wild Bells

Christmas with Hopkins

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

What Can Poetry Do?

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?

Original Child Bomb

On August 9th another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, though Hiroshima was still burning. – Thomas Merton On this day in 1945, the city of Nagasaki was bombed. In 1961, the priest-poet, Thomas Merton, responded with the “anti-poem,” “Original Child Bomb,” named after the Japanese word for the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. You can read … More Original Child Bomb

Lectio Resources

This past Monday, we looked at a monktastic way to read literature. So much of our daily reading is centered on gaining information quickly and with minimal effort. That’s not necessarily bad in itself since we need breaks and different levels of attention and some work should be done as efficiently as possible. But if … More Lectio Resources

Hopkinsian Retreat

In case you missed it, last week we had a retreat with the poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), reading poems that reflected themes of the week. You can read more about the retreat along with the connection between poetry and mystery here, and follow it with these links. – Holy Thursday Hopkins’s paraphrase of Aquinas’s Adoro … More Hopkinsian Retreat