“Felix Randal” as a Pattern for Remembering Hopkins

In the sonnet, “Felix Randal,” Gerard Manley Hopkins remembers a local Liverpool blacksmith that he had ministered to. Thanks to the work of Alfred Thomas, we even know who inspired this poem. One of Hopkins’s parishioners, A Liverpool farrier by the name of Felix Spence, died after suffering from an illness in 1880. Usually when … More “Felix Randal” as a Pattern for Remembering Hopkins

The Power of Language to Transform the Human Heart

While packing up my books for the move, I came across a passage in Frederick Buechner’s autobiography, The Sacred Journey, that I must share with you. At the same time I happened to have for an English teacher an entirely different sort of man. He had nothing of the draughtsman about him, no inclination to drill us … More The Power of Language to Transform the Human Heart

Milosz and the Monk

Br. Monday is still nowhere to be seen. Until he shows up again, here’s a story from a modern monk, Jeremy Driscoll. He tells about his meeting with the poet, Czeslaw Milosz: [Milosz] asked me virtually at the outset, “Do you as a monk find anything useful in my poetry?” I answered him that of course … More Milosz and the Monk

Why Should We Care?

“Who cares?” A student asks an insightful question, and this is the deflating comment from across the room. How to respond to this? “The wielder of the gradebook cares?” No, it is never good to go that route. The very existence of that book can be an uncomfortable reality for both parties. “Your classmate and colleague … More Why Should We Care?