Thursday, February 23, 2017

Peter Maurin - Chesterton and Belloc did not have blinkers!


A Few Englishmen

R. H. Tawney said
that the Englishmen wear blinkers.
Because they wear blinkers
the Englishmen
lack vision.
Because they lack vision
the Englishmen
are very strong
for supervision.
And supervision
is not a substitute
for vision.
A few Englishmen
got rid of their blinkers.
Among the Englishmen
who got rid of their blinkers
one can name:
William Cobbett,
John Ruskin,
William Morris,
Arthur Penty,
Hilaire Belloc,
G. K. Chesterton,
Eric Gill.
The best of all
is Eric Gill.

(This is one of  Peter Maurin's Easy Essay printed in the New York Catholic Worker. Maurin, along with Dorothy Day, created the Catholic Worker movement.)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Peter Maurin - Christianity Untried (Chesterton)

Chesterton says:
“The Christian ideal
has not been tried
and found wanting.
It has been found difficult
and left untried.”
Christianity has not been tried
because people thought
it was impractical.
And men have tried everything
except Christianity.
And everything
that men have tried
has failed.

(Peter Maurin, along with Dorothy Day, created the Catholic Worker movement. Maurin, originally from France, wrote "Easy Essays" summarizing his beliefs and those of other thinkers and writers and philosophers.)

Friday, February 10, 2017

They taught us to believe in dragons

"And a few encounters with living legends didn't hurt: I studied at the University of Oxford, and the English syllabus stopped at 1832, because there were two gentlemen named Tolkien and C.S. Lewis who had resisted taking it any further — they were both teaching there and we went to their lectures. So we encountered, thanks to those two, things like Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and above all, Shakespeare. A friend of mine once said, 'They taught us to believe in dragons.'" - The Lost Land of Susan Cooper

Susan Cooper is an award-winning writer of young adult and fantasy fiction, including the The Dark is Rising sequence. She also co-wrote the play Foxfire.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

For all the snowflakes (clerihew)

President Donald Trump
blazes away as if still on the stump.
Many a fragile snowflake
finds the heat hard to take.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A St. Jerome clerihew

Irascible St. Jerome
was justly noted for his biblical tome,
but he was upset that no one would look
at his vegetarian cook book.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

A Torricelli clerihew

Evangelista Torricelli
was fond of refried beans and jalapeno jelly.
One of his lesser-known achievements was a way to measure
frequent bouts of abdominal pressure.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tolkien's rediscovered "Noel"

NOEL by J.R.R. Tolkien

Grim was the world and grey last night:
The moon and stars were fled,
The hall was dark without song or light,
The fires were fallen dead.
The wind in the trees was like to the sea,
And over the mountains' teeth
It whistled bitter-cold and free,
As a sword leapt from its sheath.

The lord of the snows upreared his head;
His mantle long and pale
Upon the bitter blast was spread
And hung o'er hill and dale.
The world was blind, the boughs were bent,
All ways and paths were wild:
Then the veil of cl oud apart was rent,
And here was born a Child.

The ancient dome of heaven sheer
Was pricked with distant light;
A star dame shining white and clear
Alone above the night.
In the dale of dark in that hour of birth
One voice on a sudden sang:
Then all the bells in Heaven and Earth
Together at midnight rang.

Mary sang in this world below:
They heard her song arise
O'er mist and over mountain snow
To the walls of Paradise, 
And the tongue of many bells was stirred
in Heaven's towers to ring
When t he voice of mortal maid was heard,
That was mother of Heaven's King.

Glad is the world and fair this night
With stars about its head,
And the hall is filled with laughter and light,
And fires are burning red.
The bells of Paradise now ring
With bells of Christendom,
And Gloria, Gloria we will sing
That God on earth is come.

Originally published in the 1936 Annual of Our Lady's School, Abingdon, Tolkien's "Noel" was unknown and unrecorded until scholars Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull discovered it while searching for another poem in June 2013.  In May 2015, Our Lady's School, Abingdon, discovered their copy of the Annual and in Feb 2016, news of the discovery was widely reported.

- from the Yahoo Group Spareoom