Imagination

Emily Dickinson and Drinking All Summer Long

By |2019-08-14T21:49:54-05:00August 14th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Imagination, Literature, Nature, Poetry, Senior Contributors|

Emily Dickinson creates a simple buffet for our imagination in her nature and summer poems, but most especially in "I taste a liquor never brewed." And rather than being accosted by her “drunkenness,” I embrace her abandoned delight in the essence of summer. I taste a liquor never brewed – From Tankards scooped in Pearl [...]

Grace in the Garden: The Fall of Man & the British Pastoral Tradition

By |2019-08-04T22:08:19-05:00August 4th, 2019|Categories: Imagination, Literature, Moral Imagination, Poetry, Timeless Essays, Truth|

The transcendent ‘overcoming’ or reconciliation of the Fall of Man—that symbol of the cause of the disorder that we would wish re-ordered, of the return to the garden—is what great poetry graciously asks of us. The pastoral tradition will probably persist as an expression of the moral imagination in which artists in all spheres [...]

J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Beren and Lúthien”

By |2019-08-02T23:19:30-05:00August 2nd, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors, Tolkien Series|

J.R.R. Tolkien's story of Beren and Lúthien remains one of the most beautiful parts of Tolkien’s entire mythology. It matters profoundly in "The Lord of the Rings" and indeed also mattered profoundly in Tolkien’s own life. “The chief of the stories of The Silmarillion, and the one most fully treated is the Story of Beren [...]

Mental Imagery

By |2019-07-29T10:53:04-05:00July 29th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Eva Brann, Imagination, Immanuel Kant, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Philosophy, Science, Senior Contributors, St. John's College|

As Immanuel Kant says, the imagination is “a hidden art in the depth of the human soul.” It is a faculty which presupposes that somehow or other two worlds of objects are present to us, one of which seems to us to be outside, the other inside ourselves. The imagination is a puzzle not [...]

We Need More Imaginative Conservatives

By |2019-08-02T10:38:53-05:00July 28th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, Culture, Imagination, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Politics|

Imagination is what makes a person human. A well-developed imagination is the key to a richer, fuller life, not just for the individual but for the community. When society suffers a loss of imagination, counterfeit forms of it will start appearing. Therefore, it should be the goal of conservatives to revive society’s imagination. It [...]

“Mary Magdalene”: A Sonnet

By |2019-07-26T15:24:52-05:00July 22nd, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Imagination, Poetry|

The 22nd of July is Mary Magdalene’s day, and continuing my sequence of sonnets written in response to the church year I post this for her. As usual you can hear the poem by clicking on its title or on the ‘play’ button. This sonnet is drawn from my collection Sounding the Seasons, published by Canterbury Press [...]

The Moral Imagination & Imaginative Conservatism

By |2019-07-19T14:32:07-05:00July 17th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Edmund Burke, Eva Brann, Imagination, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Jane Austen, Moral Imagination, St. John's College|

Moral imagination runs not incidentally but necessarily in tandem with a certain aspect of conservatism, what I think of as imaginative conservatism… The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling, by Gertrude Himmelfarb (259 pages, Ivan R. Dee, 2006) The Moral Imagination is a very engaging collection of a dozen essays on a dozen [...]

Authors Who Shaped Me

By |2019-07-15T23:00:31-05:00July 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

As a child, I spent my free time divided between two activities—exploring the environs in and around my hometown, and reading everything under the sun. Ranging from biography to high fantasy to rigorous logic, these books shaped my tastes, thoughts, and aspirations. Ever since attending first grade—at Wiley Elementary School in Hutchinson, Kansas—I’ve loved to [...]

Reflections on Imaginative Conservatism

By |2019-07-11T10:58:46-05:00July 9th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, E.B., Eva Brann, Imagination, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, St. John's College, The Imaginative Conservative|

My first and last care is not politics but education. Education seems to me inherently conservative, being the transmission, and thus the saving, of a tradition’s treasures of fiction and thought. But education is also inherently imaginative. Author’s Note: I wish to dedicate this essay to a writer of books whose greatness is at [...]

Boethius on Allegory

By |2019-07-03T09:05:25-05:00July 2nd, 2019|Categories: Great Books, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, Philosophy, Senior Contributors|

Though myths lack literal truth, I am convinced that they contain true wisdom that must be attended to by those who desire to grow intellectually, morally, and spiritually. How, you may ask, can I both reject and embrace the message of the myths? Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other [...]