Literature

A Forgotten Inkling: Lord David Cecil

By |2019-11-21T01:20:24-06:00November 20th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Character, Christianity, Imagination, Inklings, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Lord David Cecil not only contributed more to the Inklings overall than did some of its other members, he was also the first of the Inklings to achieve fame, though few remember him now. Though most scholars have focused on C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams as the key Inklings, the [...]

Sir Gawain on Maturity

By |2019-11-18T22:09:40-06:00November 18th, 2019|Categories: Character, Christianity, Imagination, Literature, Louis Markos, Myth, Poetry, Senior Contributors|

The mature man is the one who not only honors vows and oaths, but who, when he breaks them, confesses his crime, feels shame for his failure, and seeks to make right what he has violated. Shrugging off one’s moral failings, acting as if they don’t matter, is not a sign of maturity but an [...]

Memory, Love, and Eternity in Tennyson’s “In Memoriam”

By |2019-11-15T23:50:30-06:00November 15th, 2019|Categories: Alfred Tennyson, Imagination, Literature, Love, Paul Krause, Poetry, Senior Contributors|

Tennyson’s “In Memoriam” wrestles with the death of the poet’s closest friend, a death that pushed Tennyson into a bout of depression and an immense wallowing sorrow. But the poem is also an attempt to draw near the transformative power of love—a love that turns the cold and bleak midwinter into the high noon [...]

Lord David Cecil’s Philosophy of History

By |2019-11-18T14:53:33-06:00November 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, History, Imagination, Inklings, Literature, Senior Contributors|

A deep and sympathetic biography of the troubled eighteenth-century proto-Romantic poet and classicist, William Cowper, The Stricken Deer (1929) reveals the genius of its author, a young and determined Lord David Cecil, one of the most important, if forgotten, members of the Inklings. Cecil found the key to understanding Cowper in the mad poet’s [...]

“An Open Letter to a Fellow Poet”

By |2019-11-15T15:29:56-06:00November 15th, 2019|Categories: Poetry|

for Adam Sedia[1] But why against one poor poet, a hundred men?                                     "Cyrano de Bergerac"                                     Edmond Rostand What dreams do come to distress needful sleep, to cause me wakeful to take up my pen and write [...]

Energies of Hope

By |2019-11-06T15:29:05-06:00November 14th, 2019|Categories: Glenn Arbery, Literature, Wyoming Catholic College|

I love the idea of the energy of hope. What we want to see in students is the presence of some inner drive, some fire of ambition toward a worthy end. This end needs to be good, in the future, difficult to achieve, and possible. Without hope, the soul goes flat and sour. In his [...]

Who Is Alien? Science Fiction Shorts by Updike and Klein

By |2019-11-14T13:01:27-06:00November 14th, 2019|Categories: Christine Norvell, Fiction, Imagination, Literature, Senior Contributors|

Many authors use imagery to create atmosphere, and in short fiction, that efficient imagery is vital. It may be a particular environment for their characters, but in the case of science fiction, it is also an ample tool of criticism, one in this case that has a lingering bite. […]

Why Did the Berlin Wall Fall?

By |2019-11-10T22:49:34-06:00November 8th, 2019|Categories: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Barbara J. Elliott, Communism, Europe, Poland, Russia, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Barbara J. Elliott, as she recounts the series of events and the stories of the faithful souls that were necessary to bring down the Berlin Wall and communist tyranny in Eastern Europe. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher The Berlin Wall [...]

“Concrete” Poetry and the Fall of Metaphor

By |2019-11-04T14:23:02-06:00November 6th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Literature, Modernity, Poetry, Tradition|

Central to classical poetry is the concept of metaphor—metaphor not simply as a rhetorical device, but metaphor as central to the poem itself. Such use of metaphor is absent from modernist poetry. In a worldview that denies absolute truth outright or at least its knowability, nothing exists for metaphor to reveal. In my last [...]

J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle”

By |2019-11-05T21:50:56-06:00November 5th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors, Tolkien Series|

J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle” must rank as one of the finest short stories of the twentieth century, breath-takingly beautiful, even by the highest Tolkienian standards. As with so many of his writings, “Leaf” takes seriously issues of goodness, free will, destiny, subcreation, and eternity. One very late night or early morning in 1939, [...]