The early English consecrated May Day to Robin Hood and the Maid Marian, because their favorite outlaw was said to have died on that day. Villagers set up Maypoles, and spent the day in archery, dancing, and general frolic; as one does…

It’s on a May Day that Thomas Hardy introduces Tess Durbeyfield and, unlike the storms of March and the “uncertain glory” of April, Shakespeare’s May with its “darling buds” is always sweet and ever the month for love.

Even before Anna Jarvis chose the second Sunday in May in 1908 for Mother’s Day to honor her own mother, the Virgin Mary was celebrated for centuries as the Queen of May, and in The May Magnificat Gerard Manley Hopkins reminds us that “May is Mary’s month,” and asks why. His answer –

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathizing
With that world of good,
Nature’s motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

Here on Literary Life, we are joined by our friend, author Kevin Belmonte who will come along for color and commentary as we read his book Defiant Joy, The Remarkable Life & Impact of G.K. Chesterton.


Job 12:7–10

But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;
And the fish of the sea will explain to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?


Welcome to Literary Life.




Rick Wilcox | Editor in Chief