Look. Ginsberg’s wandering “off down empty corridors / in search of a toilet.” His beard, his clothes, his speech are wild. Stand a moment and catch glimpses of his glimpses. But don’t look him in the eye; there’s a mystic fire gleaming there, and if you catch it, you’ll be like him. Hopkins is his … More 5 Poetic, and 1 Novelized, Failures Part 2
What is a poet? There are the laureates recognized by the crown. The few who gather a community or a following around them. Or at least those who have been published. But what about the poets who had nothing? What about the opium addicts, the unpublished, and the unread? What about all those musty manuscripts … More 5 Poetic Failures Part 1
I was reminded recently of the Poet Laureate’s project, La Casa de Colores. It’s this wonderful idea of gathering so many voices together on a single theme. I keep meaning to contribute but haven’t yet. Looking at it again, I was struck by Herrera’s voice: Hello everyone and welcome to La Casa de Colores, my … More La Casa de Colores
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!
It’s that time of year when the projects are piling up and you wonder if you’ve really matured past undergrad. I know you took that one line of criticism from your adviser to heart. I know you look around during seminars and think everyone else has it so much more together. She gets that theorist. … More To my fellow graduate students
Okay, okay, I know National Cat Day is over, but can we really leave it to just one day? (The answer is no) Besides, I just found this story about Gerard Manley Hopkins saving a cat! Rescued a little kitten that was perched in the sill of the round window at the sink over the … More Hopkins Saves a Cat
First let’s celebrate with theorists and cats! And second let’s celebrate with these lines from Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:” The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening, Lingered upon the … More Happy National Cat Day!
Br. Monday is pretty shaken up after barely escaping the bandit attack last week, so the abbas decided that he needed a retreat. Until he gets back, here’s a list of his adventures so far: 1. Milosz and the Monk In Br. Monday’s absence, we learned how a modern monk met the poet Czeslaw Milosz. … More The Continued Adventures of Br. Monday
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
I was on a plane holding back tears. I came to Ron Hansen’s Exiles knowing every character would die. It is a book about a shipwreck, a book about a famous poem memorializing the deaths of five nuns in that shipwreck. I knew Hopkins would die. But in that moment when the first nun was … More “I am Happy, so Happy”: Remembering Father Gerard