Every bibliophile knows that we can scan our shelves and get this mingling sense of memory and feelings as though we’re looking at old pictures. Pick a random book and maybe you’ll remember dogearing pages earnestly without quite knowing what was so important at the time, but still feel changed by it. Ease another out … More What Book Makes the Best Friend?
Personalism is notoriously difficult to define. Sometimes I’ll read a writer and think, “this is personalism,” but then have trouble articulating exactly how. This is why Jacques Maritain quipped in The Person and the Common Good that “there are, at least, a dozen personalist doctrines, which, at times, have nothing more in common than the term … More Why I’m a Personalist Part 2
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
I mentioned last Monday that I sometimes apply the monastic method of lectio divina (sacred reading) to the first few times I read a poem. Following Parker Palmer’s suggestion that students need contemplative reading practices to balance the institutional leaning toward shallow “speed reading,” Mike Ruso and Paul Corrigan developed a variant of lectio for literature that … More How to Read Literature Like a Monk
Last time we looked at a possible way to start reading poetry. I suggested maybe choosing poems that seem more accessible, but what about the ones that get labeled inaccessible? Today we’re going to think about difficult poems and why they’re important. So you’ve got a poem in front of you. You’ve been staring at it … More 3 Reasons Why You Should Read Difficult Poems
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
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