Silent morning—a fog like the ghost Of autumn trees and brush and leaves Rises up to the skies, a wavering host Of spirits climbing to clouds, their winter post. Farmers are nearly done gathering sheaves And stalks stand like sentinels—grave stones— Encumbered by rooks whose coarse song weaves Harvest into winter, as Earth her life heaves Into barns and bins. She creaks and groans From the heavy toil of summer, spent, To lie
Become an empty singing bowl, whose chime Is richness rising out of emptiness, and timelessness resounding into time1 Thus Malcolm Guite, chaplain at Girton College at the University of Cambridge, opens his recent poetry collection, The Singing Bowl. In lieu of the traditional invoking of a Greek muse, as poets from Homer to John Milton have done, Guite opens with a prayer for inner silence so that another Spirit, that mysterious third Person of the
In my previous article I discussed medieval mysticism and some of the many factors surrounding its rise, including an increased literacy among lay people and the booming presence of vernacular languages in literature. When considering late medieval literacy and the rise of vernacular literature, the beloved poet Dante Alighieri is one of the most renowned and remarkable examples. His Divina Commedia journeys through hell (Inferno), purgatory (Purgatorio), and heaven (Paradiso). Dante is known now as
Life is messy. Then again, that’s probably to be expected when spending time with sinners. When that intersects with our Christian community though, things can become a bit more puzzling. These are the people who are supposed to know right and wrong, follow Christ, and live holy lives. How should we react when coming across sin in others? Hopkins wrestled with this question, and provided his answer in poetry: Myself unholy, from myself unholy To
This fall I have the privilege of serving as a mentor at Summit’s Summit Semester program. One of the lesser benefits of this opportunity is the chance to spend the fall out in the gorgeous mountains of southern Colorado. So far, I’ve taken at least a few minutes each night to step out and look at the stars. Having grown up between Baltimore and Washington D.C., actually seeing stars is something of a novelty. As
Some of my favorite books are the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. While Lewis’s tales of the adventures of the Pevensie children (and later Eustace and Polly) in the land of Narnia are for many little more than entertaining children’s books, I find myself returning to this series again and again. And while I cannot claim to speak on behalf of everyone who has read Chronicles, I know there are many other readers,
“When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut, Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs? When, when, Peace, will you, Peace?–I’ll not play hypocrite To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but That Piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it?”1 Peace can be such an erratic thing. One moment present, the next, somewhere else.