Poetry

Chaucer on Self-Delusion

By |2019-12-11T00:34:05-06:00December 9th, 2019|Categories: Geoffrey Chaucer, Great Books, Imagination, Louis Markos, Poetry, Wisdom|

There is perhaps no spell stronger or more lasting than self-delusion. Who among us cannot see the hypocrisy in others; how few of us can see the hypocrisy in ourselves. Author’s Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other great poets of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages had been given [...]

“Hymn” to the Mother of God

By |2019-12-07T20:53:29-06:00December 7th, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Edgar Allan Poe, Poetry|

Edgar Allan Poe's "Hymn" appeared in The Raven and Other Poems (1845). Poe revised it slightly from a version he used in his short story, "Morella." He originally titled the work, "Catholic Hymn," but crossed out "Catholic" in a copy of the collection he sent to a friend. It is said that Poe wrote the [...]

Death at Yuletude: T.S. Eliot and “The Journey of the Magi”

By |2019-12-07T10:12:18-06:00December 6th, 2019|Categories: Advent, Christianity, Imagination, Literature, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “The Journey of the Magi” is as sincere a conversion poem as one can have it: No fancy light shining down from the heavens or a thunderous call to holiness; just one small event that left a Magus perplexed by a new worldview that was unsettling and strange, for it put into [...]

Chaucer on Influence

By |2019-12-02T23:45:02-06:00December 2nd, 2019|Categories: Geoffrey Chaucer, Great Books, Imagination, Louis Markos, Poetry, Wisdom|

Though fate is strong, there is a First Mover who transcends the revolutions of Fortune’s Wheel. In our world of perpetual change, all is in flux; even the mightiest tree will someday fall and the broadest river turn to dust. Yet the First Cause rises above these temporal twists and turns. Author’s Introduction: Imagine [...]

Litany of the Lost

By |2019-11-29T11:04:59-06:00November 29th, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Cold War, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, War, Western Civilization|

Written in the after-shock of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Siegfried Sassoon’s “Litany of the Lost” laments the dehumanizing and destructive effects of technology. If Sassoon emerges as something of a prophet in the lines of this poem, he is something of a prophet at a loss. Who exactly is to deliver us from ourselves? We [...]

Chaucer on Variety

By |2019-11-25T23:09:51-06:00November 25th, 2019|Categories: Great Books, Imagination, Literature, Louis Markos, Poetry, Wisdom|

True pilgrimage is a communal undertaking: a temporary society on the move. Rather than turn inward in search of enlightenment, turn outward toward your companions and learn to see the world through their eyes. Learn to get along with people whose passions, beliefs, and strategies for survival are radically different from your own. Author’s Introduction: [...]

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 [...]

“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 [...]