Sunday, April 30, 2017

Helpful hints …

… Defeating Conference Regret | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.

Check these out …

 10 Instruments On Reverb You've Probably Never Seen Before | Reverb. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Serve and return …

… A.M. Juster on Twitter: "My response? https://t.co/RfISlU65qE https://t.co/miu7xLXSAG".



Here is a link to the article referenced.



(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Nature and Nature's God …

… Informal Inquiries: Hopkins, "Spring," and the future of Informal Inquiries.

Looking back …

… Forgotten Poems #22: Margaret Harries Wilson, "This Is the Hour When Memory Wakes".

The Adventures of Wynn, the Service Dog …


Mom, you're kidding, I'm waiting again. (This is the first of a series. I have grown very fond of Wynn, and I think he likes me also. I think he deserves the attention.)

The Bard's professional life …

 Informal Inquiries: Shakespeare & Co. by Stanley Wells (Pantheon, 2007).

Inquirer reviews …

… Two masters of poetry, comic and haunting.



… McBride's 'Whatever Measure of Light': Music in service of meaning.



Kotzin's 'Debris Field': Humanity, form, love of nature.



… Tree Riesener's 'Hubble Cantos': Cosmic sleigh ride.

Something to think on …

I do not choose the right word, I get rid of the wrong one.
— A. E. Housman, who died on this date in 1936

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Paintings and stories …

 With 'Night Stories,' painter Linden Frederick teams up with writers to finish the narrative - Portland Press Herald. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



I really like Frederick's paintings. Is there anyone else out there painting the world that we actually live in?

Hmm …

… Paul Davis On Crime: The Same Brain Disease Battering The NFL May Have Killed Ernest Hemingway.



Well, there also seems to be a genetic factor. His father killed himself. So did a brother and a sister. So did his granddaughter Margaux.

The power of prayer …

… Informal Inquiries: Herman Melville, the whale, and God's mercy.

Middle-aged blues …

… Man in the mirror-ball: Simon Armitage's The Unaccompanied. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

And the winner is …

… Jericho Brown - Poetry Society of America. (Hat ti, Rus Bowden.)



That's quite a poem.

Take a look at these …

… C. M. Bell Studio Collection: Newly Digitized Portraits | Picture This: Library of Congress Prints & Photos. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Epiphanies …

… ‘And Then The Universe Opened Up…’ | The American Conservative. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The magic of maps …

… Zealotry of Guerin: World Map (Hans Holbein The Younger), Sonnet #348.

The choice is yours …

… Uncensored John Simon: STYLE. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Style, however, is something you choose, not something you’re born with.
But who you are has a lot to do with how you choose.

Something to think on …

For a truly religious man nothing is tragic.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein, who died on this date in 1951

Friday, April 28, 2017

And so it is …

… Krisak Poem — Larkinesque | National Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Well, I wouldn't go that far …

 15 Pics That Show Photography Is The Biggest Lie Ever | Bored Panda. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

No kidding …

… Czeslaw Milosz: One of the most fascinating poets of the past 100 years - The Washington Post. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Vanitas vanitatum …

… Caravaggio’s ‘Narcissus’ in Rome – TheTLS. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Miss Emily times two …

… Informal Inquiries: Emily Dickinson on dying and stumbling.



Home Alone With the Ghost of Emily Dickinson. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Mysteries …

… Informal Inquiries: True or False: searching for one and avoiding the other.



In connection with this, check this out:





(Hat tip, Vikram Johri, who comments, "A leap of faith? Perhaps, but also indicative of how even real-world phenomema (this sum is used in string theory, for example) bow to certain ideas that cannot be explained logically."

Something to think on …

However, no two people see the external world in exactly the same way. To every separate person a thing is what he thinks it is - in other words, not a thing, but a think.
— Penelope Fitzgerald, who died on this date in 2000

Thursday, April 27, 2017

And the winner is …

 Congratulations to 2017 Poetry Out Loud National Champion Samara Elán Huggins | NEA.

Master of light …

… Back in the Swing. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

In our postmodern echo chambers known as “English departments,” light verse is a dimly recalled genre. Most English professors would be stunned to learn that a major university press has just released a book by America’s greatest living light verse poet—and very few would be able to name him

Certainly cause for concern …

… Informal Inquiries: Paradise Lost sold in 1667 (and lost in 2017).

Blogging note …

I will resume blogging later today, when I hope to do some catching up. But I have other things to do as well.

A sad tale …

… Sharia, Arkansas Style | Frontpage Mag. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Exactly how can you have a discussion of of honoring killings that is not critical of same? Tolerating that sort of thing goes farther than I am willing to travel.




Hmm …

Poetry in the Modern Age:An Editorial Statement. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I pretty much agree with this, but would note that  there is a dimension to meter comparable to what is known in music as chromaticism. Poets not only observe meter. They also skillfully vary it.

The encouragement of poetry …

 Informal Inquiries: Robert Frost - "Dust of Snow".

Writing as prophecy …

… Rime without reason: Did Coleridge foretell his own future in a poem? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Undergirding Guite’s esoteric premiss is an assertion that Coleridge makes in his pioneering work of literary criticism, Biographia Literaria, published two decades after he composed the first version of his poem. Defining what he christens the “sacred power of self-intuition”, Coleridge bears witness to a kind of psychic propensity with which he is convinced some individuals are uniquely endowed – a “philosophic imagination” capable of anticipating as yet unformed contours of their identity. Such individuals, Coleridge explains, “feel in their own spirits the same instinct which impels the chrysalis of the horned fly to leave room in its involucrum for antennae yet to come. They know and feel, that the potential works in them, even as the actual works on them”.

Truth and fiction …

… Paul Davis On Crime: George V. Higgins' 'Eddie Coyle': Even Better Than True.

Something to think on …

God enters by a private door into every individual.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, who died on this date in 1882

A hundred days in...

...The education of Donald Trump
“He is not a movement conservative. He is definitely not an establishment Republican,” said Ken Blackwell, who headed domestic policy during Trump’s transition. “He’s transactional and makes calls based on his gut. Those of us who are accustomed to an ideological framework — it takes getting used to.”

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

And the winners are …

… Finding Home Contest Winners | YARN. (Hat tip, Virginia Kerr.)

In defense of history …

… The Enduring Myths Of Catholic Inequality | Standpoint. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Professor Stark refutes ten anti-Catholic calumnies still “deeply embedded in our common culture”. The institutional Church was not anti-Semitic; it did not suppress the apocryphal gospels; it did not persecute pagans; it did not plunge Europe into “a millennium of ignorance and backwardness” in the Dark Ages. The Crusades were not motivated by greed, and the Spanish Inquisition did not torture and murder “whuge numbers of innocent people”. The Church did not impede the development of science; nor did it condone slavery or support authoritarian regimes except where they defended Catholics from persecution; and it did not thwart economic enterprise prior to the Protestant Reformation.

Eastern influence...

...Alice Coltrane's devotional music
On “Rama Rama,” a sitar’s thrum is matched with gentle waves of synthesizer, the kind of juxtaposition between old and new that gives much of this music an uncanny feel. For Alice, synthesizers and organs were simply a new way of humming along with the universe, as she had previously tried to do playing the harp. “Journey to Satchidananda” revisits the melody from one of her masterpieces, “Journey in Satchidananda,” released in 1970. Here the original’s insistent rhythm is unravelled, slowed down to a swirl of chants and tranquil synthesizer tones.

Blogging note …

I am booked up today, so my blogging will resume later on.

Something to think on …

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
— Marcus Aurelius, born on this date in 120

I beg to differ …

… Poetry Is Dissent – the AGNI blog. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



Maybe if you think politics is the be-all and end-all of existence, in which case you have settled for a pretty vacuous existence, in my view. Also, in this country, "dissent" tends to amount to virtue-signalling. In places like the old Soviet Union, it comes at a price, often a very high one.

The original desert island tale …

… Informal Inquiries: Robinson Crusoe and miscellaneous connections.

Hmm …

The chasm between etic and emic viewpoints may explain the still widespread disbelief in the academic community over the defeat of Clinton and the election of Trump.
Whether or not a person is astounded by this outcome, I’ve found, breaks down pretty reliably along class lines. As a general rule, academics with roots in the professional class (read: most academics) are horrified and confused; academics with roots in the working class, on the other hand, are horrified and comprehending. 
Comprehending — but still disapproving, I gather. Heaven forfend the possibility that the yahoos one grew up among might be onto something

About those rejections …

… Cli-Fi.Net --  Robert Pirsig: Celebrated ''Zen an the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" author, dies at age 88 - An investigation into the urban legend that he ''submitted'' the book to 121 publishers before William Morrow said yes.

Have a listen …

 Paul Davis On Crime: A Little Night Music: Andy Narel's 'Kalinda'.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Which is not good …

… The March for Science was eerily religious.

Rather than indiscriminately repeating the results of the latest headline-grabbing scientific journal article and quoting the authors who wrote the paper, journalists should also reach out to skeptics and use their comments not just to provide (false) balance in their articles but to assess whether the finding really warrants an entire article of coverage in the first place. Headlines should be vetted not for impact and virality but for honesty. As a reader, be wary of any headline that includes the phrase “Science says,” as well as anything that states that a particular study “proves” that a particular exposure “causes” a particular disease. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, and emphysema, and that’s about as close to a causal statement as actual scientists will make, when it comes to health. Most of what you read and hear about turns out to be mere associations, and mostly fairly weak ones, at that.

Pictorialist at heart …

 A Vast Cacophony of Contradictions | Chapter 16. (Hat tip,Rus Bowden.)

The real Rosa Parks …

 A Rebellious Life | Chapter 16. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

And the winners are …

… Winning Poems for 2017 March : IBPC.



The Judge's Page.



(Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

The rise of the edged out...

...The French, Coming Apart
“Our Immigrants, Our Strength,” was the title of a New York Times op-ed signed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, New York mayor Bill de Blasio, and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo after September’s terrorist bomb blasts in New York. This estrangement is why electoral results around the world last year—from Brexit to the election of Donald Trump—proved so difficult to anticipate. Those outside the city gates in la France périphérique are invisible, their wishes incomprehensible. It’s as if they don’t exist. But they do.

Something to think on …

Without imagination of the one kind or of the other, mortal existence is indeed a dreary and prosaic business... Illumined by the imagination, our life, whatever its defeats — is a never-ending unforeseen strangeness and adventure and mystery.
— Walter de La Mare, born on this date in 1873

Gentlemen bandits …

… Paul Davis On Crime: My Washington Times Review Of The Pierre Hotel Affair: How Eight Gentleman Orchestrated The Largest Jewel Heist In History.

The book vs the movie...

Listen in to this, too …

 Episode 215 – Charif Majdalani | Virtual Memories.

“Proust tried to explain how we live in subjective time. Both our work is about the transformation of society, but he seems nostalgic about the time before. I’m not nostalgic for that period. I’m more interested in how societies reach their peak and then fall down.”

Listen in …

… Episode 214 – Wallis Wilde-Menozzi | Virtual Memories.

“We’re shoulder to shoulder with a lot of people, and we assume we know them in a way that we don’t, but we don’t assume that we don’t know them in the way that we should.”

RIP …

… Hubert Dreyfus (1929-2017) - Daily Nous. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The RAND paper eventually became Dreyfus’ influential 1972 book What Computers Can’t Do: A Critique of Artificial Reason. A twenty-year anniversary edition of the book was published in 1992 under the title What Computers Still Can’t Do. In this book Dreyfus made a move that became characteristic of much of his philosophical work. He took the phenomenological account of human existence—especially as he found it in Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty—and applied it to influential domains outside of philosophy. Dreyfus’ interpretation of human being, of Dasein as Heidegger calls us, would eventually reverberate through natural and social scientific disciplines as diverse as nursing, leadership and management practice, psychotherapy, education, filmmaking, religious studies, and others.

Monday, April 24, 2017

RIP …

… 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' author dead - ABC News. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Ahem …

 Islam needs Islamophobia right now: Voices.



I am a 23-year-old aspiring journalist working not far from Washington, D.C., and I am an apostate from Islam. I have been for years. I grew up going to a Muslim school in the town of Franklin, Mich., learning the Quran and classical Arabic.
Looking back, I would not have had it any other way. I was immersed in a worldview and a literature that has shaped the world for a millennium and a half. I understand the Muslim ethos, and I am proud of where I come from. Although I no longer believe, I can remember what it means to be enraged when someone mocks the prophet. 

Mark thy calendar …

PHILLY POETRY DAY 2017 –

YOU CAN PARTICIPATE!

What Is Philly Poetry Day?

People say you can attend a poetry reading
almost every day in the Philadelphia area.
There is a lot of poetry in Philadelphia.
Philly Poetry Day is a chance for all poets
to show their stuff – to demonstrate how much
poetry there is in Philadelphia.
It is also an attempt to bring poetry
to a larger and not typical audience.
The idea is that on Saturday, April 29, 2017,
from 12 AM to 12 PM, poetry will be everywhere.

How can you participate?


If you are a poetry organization that normally programs
readings, we are inviting you to create an event for that day.

We are also inviting any poets, anyone really,
to create a poetry reading for that day: at your school,
community center, local library or bookstore, cafes,
living room, etcetera.

We also strongly recommend creating a
reading in a space where poetry readings
are not normally held (with permission). Any space
with a built-in audience. In this way, poetry will
happen all over the Philadelphia area. Drugstores,
parks, street corners, porches, any place you can think of.
We have had poetry readings on railroad bridges,
pizza parlors, subways, etcetera.
All ideas and events are welcome.

What do you have to do?

Create an event.

List name of organization, names of participating poets.
2-line description of event, time and location of event
 (remember the date is April 29, 2017).
Email information to: Leonard Gontarek, gontarek9@earthlink.net

Everyone is welcome and we need everyone to participate.

Email any questions to Leonard Gontarek:
gontarek9@earthlink.net

Literary birthday …

… Informal Inquiries: Trollope, Ordinary People, and Hercules.

A picaresque tale …

… Guest Post, Roger Boylan: The Making of a Farce – s [r] blog. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



As I explain to people who ask me why I don’t just knock off a bestseller or two, then go back to my quirky comedies, if I could knock off a bestseller, don’t you think I would? Quirky comedies are what I write. Farce is what I do. It’s an essential ingredient of literature, specifically comic literature. Actually, it’s an essential ingredient of life, which makes comic fiction the most realistic genre of all.


Well it is third in line for reading, but I just got a Kindle copy of  The Great Pint-Pulling Olympiad.

A portent perhaps …

… RORATE CAELI: For the first time in nearly 50 years, only the traditional Latin Mass to be offered in Irish Diocese. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



More and more it seems that Vatican II sowed the wind.


Ah, yes …

 How Do You Bond With Mozart? Adopt A Starling : Deceptive Cadence : NPR. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The other really interesting thing in the notebook he copied down was the motif from the Allegretto [movement] of that Concerto No. 17. He copied it the way he wrote it, and then he copied it down the way the starling that he met in the shop sang it. It was very similar. And we have another piece of ephemera, an elegy that he wrote when the starling passed away three years later.

Something to think on …

Life is so unlike theory.
— Anthony Trollope, born on this date in 1815

In case you wondered...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

RIP …

… Kate Walsh O'Beirne R.I.P. | National Review.

The categories of truth …

… The Review: The Wife of Martin Guerre by Janet Lewis | Brick. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)



In his Poet’s Choice column in memory of Lewis, Robert Hass writes: “I don’t know how many times over the years I’ve heard writers, making their lists of great neglected books of the twentieth century, begin talking with excitement about The Wife of Martin Guerre. . . . She has, in that way, always gotten her due.”

Neglected …

… 7 overlooked women writers you should be reading now | PBS NewsHour. (Hat tip, Virginia Kerr.)



I find it hard to believe that Marianne Moore is overlooked. Anyone who cares about poetry ought to be reading hers.

Ripeness is all …

… Informal Inquiries: William Shakespeare -- nothing else matters.

Anniversary …

… Paul Davis On Crime: On This Day In History William Shakespeare Was Born.

Inquirer reviews …

… including this one by me:  Sebastian Barry's 'Days Without End': Humane, moving, masterful.

'All the Rivers': Love across the Middle East conflict.

… Eisenhower’s hidden hand in reining in Joseph McCarthy.

Something to think on …

Whoever doesn't live in poetry cannot survive here on earth.
— Halldór Laxness, born on this date in 1902

This afternoon …

THE 2017 PHILADELPHIA POETRY FESTIVAL
                & Book Fair!

The Free Poetry Festival


This year's festival will be held at The Rotunda,
4014 Walnut Street in West Philadelphia.
Join us on Sunday, April 23 from 1 PM to 4 PM.
The Event Is Free and Everyone Is Welcome



Each organization will present one poet reading for five minutes.

There will be an area for the circulation of program brochures, flyers and information about dozens of Philadelphia poetry and writing outlets.


The Rotunda – 4014 Walnut Street in West Philadelphia
A wonderful event space!
Lots of street parking – metered and non-metered
Fresh Grocer Parking Garage across Walnut Street
Great places for food & spirits within a block:
Smokey Joe’s, The Greek Lady, Mizu Sushi Bar,
West Philly City Tap House, Bobby’s Burger Palace,
Copabanana, Hummus, & The Last Word Book Shop


Come and find out about all the other poetry orgs, series, coordinators, and more in the Philly and surrounding areas.


Participants will include:

* Painted Bride Quarterly and Reading Series

* Saturnalia Books * Philadelphia Writers Resist

* Mighty Writers *  PhillyCam Philly Loves Poetry

* Mad Poets Society/ Young Poets Contest /Mad Poets Review

* Calypso Press * Philadelphia Community College Certificate Program

* The Green Line Reading Series * Greater Philadelphia Wordshop

* Thread Makes Blanket * Pen & Pencil Club

* Moonstone Reading Series * The Osage Poets Workshops

* Brigid’s House Writers * Big Blue Marble Bookstore Programs

* Philadelphia Writers Conference * Philly Poetry Day

* Unexpected Poetry Project * Poetry Aloud And Alive




The Philadelphia Poetry Festival will include a Poetry Book Fair:
presses and poets signing and selling their books of poems.


The Festival will also include a Tribute to A.V. Christie

and a Tribute to Louis McKee.


For More Information: email Leonard Gontarek – gontarek9@earthlink.net



The Event Is Free and Everyone Is Welcome

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fascinating longread...

The mystery of poetry …

… Informal Inquiries: Robert Frost, a prayer, and a question.

Then there's the bird …

… Zealotry of Guerin: There Stood That Lonely, Gnarled, and Deciduous Tree (Sidney Sime), Sonnet #347.

The joy of reading …

 “Literature with a Capital L”: On Arthur Krystal’s “This Thing We Call Literature” - Los Angeles Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Strictly speaking, Krystal isn’t a critic at all, and he certainly has no theories to peddle. We might think of him as an enthusiastic reader who happens to write. He reminds us of the respect once shown to Dr. Johnson’s notion of the common reader, “uncorrupted with literary prejudices.”

Good news for Waugh fans …

… and fans of great writing: Complete Works of Waugh Available in USA | The Evelyn Waugh Society. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Something to think on

We are as liable to be corrupted by books, as by companions.
— Henry Fielding, born on this date in 1707

Well, why not!

Friday, April 21, 2017

This Sunday …

THE 2017 PHILADELPHIA POETRY FESTIVAL!

The Free Poetry Festival

This year's festival will be held at The Rotunda,
4014 Walnut Street in West Philadelphia.
Join us on Sunday, April 23 from 1 PM to 4 PM.
The Event Is Free and Everyone Is Welcome



Each organization will present one poet reading for five minutes.

There will be an area for the circulation of program brochures, flyers and information about dozens of Philadelphia poetry and writing outlets.


The Rotunda – 4014 Walnut Street in West Philadelphia
A wonderful event space!
Lots of street parking – metered and non-metered
Fresh Grocer Parking Garage across Walnut Street
Great places for food & spirits within a block:
Smokey Joe’s, The Greek Lady, Mizu Sushi Bar,
West Philly City Tap House, Bobby’s Burger Palace,
Copabanana, Hummus, & The Last Word Book Shop


Come and find out about all the other poetry orgs, series, coordinators, and more in the Philly and surrounding areas.


Participants will include:

* Painted Bride Quarterly and Reading Series

* Saturnalia Books * Philadelphia Writers Resist

* Mighty Writers *  PhillyCam Philly Loves Poetry

* Mad Poets Society/ Young Poets Contest /Mad Poets Review

* Calypso Press * Philadelphia Community College Certificate Program

* The Green Line Reading Series * Greater Philadelphia Wordshop

* Thread Makes Blanket * Pen & Pencil Club

* Moonstone Reading Series * The Osage Poets Workshops

* Brigid’s House Writers * Big Blue Marble Bookstore Programs

* Philadelphia Writers Conference * Philly Poetry Day



The Philadelphia Poetry Festival will include a Poetry Book Fair:
presses and poets signing and selling their books of poems.


The Festival will also include a Tribute to A.V. Christie

and a Tribute to Louis McKee.


For More Information: email Leonard Gontarek – gontarek9@earthlink.net



The Event Is Free and Everyone Is Welcome

Blogging note …

I must be out and about for the rest of the day. So blogging on my part will not resume until much later.

Submissions wanted …

… The Essay: Brave, Engaged, Inventive | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog.

Transience and immanence …

… First Known When Lost: Blossom.

The pale, delicate blossoms of fruit trees in spring and the brilliant leaves of autumn: it is through these gifts that I have arrived at my sense of life and of the World. I have no idea how this happened. Perhaps it is nothing more than an affinity for particular qualities of light and for particular colors. But, from these blossoms and leaves, I have come to know this: we live in a World of immanence. There is something that lies behind them and beyond them, reticent yet articulate, untouchable yet all-embracing.
Amen.

Happy birthday …

… Informal Inquiries: Charlotte Bronte -- a birthday, a confession, and a question.

Something to think on …

The principal rule of art is to please and to move. All the other rules were created to achieve this first one.
— Jean Racine, who died on this date in 1699

Thoreau-lite

...in which our intrepid reporter leaves for awhile in her big red truck with her dogs Aragorn and Legolas to a cabin in the woods.  No internet, just moose.  And bear.  But I have hair spray -- no I mean BEAR spray hahaha   😬


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Anniversary again …

… Paul Davis On Crime: On This Day In History The First Detective Story Was Published.

New use for phone booths …

 State College, PA - TelePoem Booth Offers Interactive Poetry Experience . (Hat tip, G.E. Reutter.)

And the nominees are …

 Six Finalists Named for 2017 Chautauqua Prize.

Hmm …

… Students should be taught new kinds of poetry (essay). (Hat tip, G.E. Reutter.)

At Yale University’s English Department, where I earned my Ph.D., poetry is making headlines. Last spring, students petitioned the faculty to scrap Major English Poets, a required yearlong sequence featuring mostly white men. Last fall, faculty members agreed to meet to reconsider every word in the title of the course. And just recently, the faculty voted to revise the major, retaining historical distribution requirements while adding a new course, World Anglophone Literature. Major English Poets is now optional.
Exactly how you are supposed to master poetry in English without knowing the works of the major poets who have written in English is a question that appears to have eluded the petitioners. If you don't want to learn more than what you already know, or think you know, don't bother attending school. Of course, a school that would give in to such a demand isn't worth attending. The Simpsons has happily addressed this.

Changing times …

… Fearing Dreher: Why the Benedict Option Scares Christians - The Imaginative Conservative. (Hat tip,  Dave Lull.)



In the very first book review I had published, back in 1964 —  a review of Dag Hammarskjöld's Markings, I said that we were living in a post-Christian era. 

For poetry month …

… A book of poetry that's worth $100,000, and so much more - LA Times. (Hat tip, G.E. Reutter.)








Worrisome …

… The Papal View from the Global South | Paul Seaton | First Things.



At both levels, then, spiritual and structural, Francis is given to what Tocqueville called the characteristic vice of the democratic historian: identifying general causes and slighting particular ones. 
Happily, Popes come and Popes go, but the Church remains. As Hilaire Belloc observed, "The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine — but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight."

The burial of the dead …

… Blake Morrison - Mortician as Poet | Literary Review | Issue 226. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Although Lynch writes with wit and charm, he regards the ceremonies of death as a solemn business, requiring gravitas. Funerals – like baptisms and nuptials – are an essential way of assigning meaning, a means of ‘disposing of our dead with sufficient pause to say [they’ve] lived in ways different from rocks and rhododendrons and even orang-utans and that those lives [are] worth mentioning and remembering’. He quotes Gladstone to the effect that you can measure people’s respect for the laws of the land by the way they care for their dead. He worries that we’re already living in an age of McFunerals, where the dead are regarded as a nuisance to be got rid of as quickly as possible.

Anniversary …

… Informal Inquiries: April 20, 1841 - the first detective story.

Something to think on …

If you want to be holy, if you seek meaning in your life, start looking into your own life and attacking your pride in all of its many forms. God will give you extraordinary light and the ultimate reward of holiness. For your holiness relies not on what you do, but on what you allow God to do through you. Have courage. God will perfect you.
— Mother Angelica, born on this date in 1923

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A real success story …

… Black Men Speaking Latin - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

…  Boys’ Latin is filled with all the challenges that come with West Philadelphia: neighborhood drug dealers, gangs, struggling single moms. You name it, Mr. Hardy says, Boys’ Latin has got it. The difference is the school refuses to accept it as an excuse for not achieving.