The Voyage of Life by Thomas Cole (1842)

NATURE Ralph Waldo Emerson But if a man be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and vulgar things. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. […]

The Holy Sonnets by John Donne (1633)

Spiritual truth is difficult for the rational mind to grasp.  The Bible says the Holy Spirit will guide us to all truth and indeed, absent God’s intrusion our modern minds gravitate to only that which is reasonable – and reason is a hobbled teacher.  We understand this most directly in matters of love, for as Pascal […]

The Cognoscenti & the Apologetics of Curiosity by Kate Thomsen Gremillion

How Things You Wish to Know Are Accessible Through Curiosity and Community   One of the most delightful aspects of participating in Literary Life is the charm and fascination of its members. As I read through the posts and comments, I meet a range of characters from the beguiling and clever to the serious and searching. Much […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 5

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 4

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 3

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 2

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

God of the Awkward, the Freckled, and the Strange: Day 1

Pied Beauty Gerard Manley Hopkins Glory be to God for dappled things— For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings; Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough; And áll trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spáre, strange; […]

Easter by George Herbert

    Rise heart; thy Lord is risen. Sing his praise     Without delays,     Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise     With him mayst rise.     That, as his death calcined1 thee to dust,     His life may make thee gold, and much more just.         Awake, my lute, and struggle […]

Maundy Thursday by Malcolm Guite

Here is the source of every sacrament, The all-transforming presence of the Lord, Replenishing our every element, Remaking us in his creative Word. For here the earth herself gives bread and wine, The air delights to bear his Spirit’s speech, The fire dances where the candles shine, The waters cleanse us with his gentle touch. […]

The Anointing At Bethany by Malcom Guite

Come close with Mary, Martha, Lazarus, So close the candles flare with their soft breath, And kindle heart and soul to flame within us Lit by these mysteries of life and death. For beauty now begins the final movement, In quietness and intimate encounter, The alabaster jar of precious ointment Is broken open for the […]

Love’s As Warm As Tears by C. S. Lewis

Love’s as warm as tears, Love is tears: Pressure within the brain, Tension at the throat, Deluge, weeks of rain, Haystacks afloat, Featureless seas between Hedges, where once was green. Love’s as fierce as fire, Love is fire: All sorts ‒ Infernal heat  
 Clinkered with greed and pride,  
 Lyric desire, sharp-sweet,  
 Laughing, […]

Gethsemane by Rowan Williams

Who said that trees grow easily compared with us? What if the bright bare load that pushes down on them insisted that they spread and bowed and pleated back on themselves and cracked and hunched? Light dropping like a palm levelling the ground, backwards and forwards? Across the valley are the other witnesses of two […]

The Agony by George Herbert

Philosophers have measur’d mountains, Fathom’d the depths of seas, of states and kings; Walk’d with a staff to heav’n and traced fountains: But there are two vast, spacious thins, The which to measure it doth more behove; Yet few there are that sound them, ‒ Sin and Love. Who would know Sin, let him repair […]

Golgotha by John Heath-Stubbs

In the middle of the world, in the centre Of the polluted heart of man, a midden; A stake stemmed in the rubbish From lipless jaws, Adam’s skull Gasped up through the garbage: ‘I lie in the discarded dross of history, Ground down again to the red dust, The obliterated image. Create me.’ From lips […]

The Incarnate One by Edwin Muir

The windless northern surge, the sea-gull’s scream, And Calvin’s kirk crowning the barren brae. I think of Giotto the Tuscan shepherd’s dream, Christ, man and creature in their inner day. How could our race betray The Image, and the Incarnate One unmake Who chose this form and fashion for our sake? The Word made flesh […]

Strong Son of God, Immortal Love by Alfred Tennyson

Strong Son of God, immortal Love, Whom we, that have not seen thy face, By faith, and faith alone, embrace, Believing where we cannot prove; … Our little systems have their day; They have their day and cease to be: They are but broken lights of thee, And thou, O Lord, art more than they. […]

Faith In Honest Doubt by Alfred Tennyson

You tell me, doubt is Devil-born. I know not: one indeed I knew In many a subtle question versed, Who touch’d a jarring lyre at first, But ever strove to make it true: Perplext in faith, but pure in deeds, At last he beat his music out. There lives more faith in honest doubt, Believe […]

The Light Which Makes The Light Which Makes The Day by John Davies

That Power which gave me eyes the World to view, To see my self infused an inward light, Whereby my soul, as by a mirror true, Of her own form may take a perfect sight, But as the sharpest eye discerneth nought, Except the sun-beams in the air doe shine: So the best soul with […]

Why Did My Parents Send Me To The Schools? by John Davies

Why did my parents send me to the Schools, That I with knowledge might enrich my mind? Since the desire to know first made men fools, And did corrupt the root of all mankind: Even so by tasting of that fruit forbid, Where they sought knowledge, they did error find; Ill they desir’d to know, […]

Mothering Sunday by Malcolm Guite

At last, in spite of all, a recognition, For those who loved and laboured for so long, Who brought us, through that labour, to fruition To flourish in the place where we belong. A thanks to those who stayed and did the raising, Who buckled down and did the work of two, Whom governments have […]

De Magistro by Malcolm Guite

I thank my God I have emerged at last, Blinking from Hell, to see these quiet stars, Bewildered by the shadows that I cast. You set me on this stair, in those rich hours Pacing your study, chanting poetry. The Word in you revealed his quickening powers, Removed the daily veil, and let me see, […]

Through The Gate by Malcolm Guite

Begin the song exactly where you are, For where you are contains where you have been And holds the vision of your final sphere. And do not fear the memory of sin; There is a light that heals, and, where it falls, Transfigures and redeems the darkest stain Into translucent colour. Loose the veils And […]

Meeting Virgil: ‘There Is Another Road’ by Dante

As I went, ruined, rushing to that low, there had, before my eyes, been offered one who seemed -long silent- to be faint and dry. Seeing him near in that great wilderness, to him I screamed my ‘miserere’: ‘Save me, whatever – shadow or truly man – you be.’ His answer came to me: ‘No […]

The Pains Of Sleep by S.T. Coleridge

Ere on my bed my limbs I lay, It hath not been my use to pray With moving lips or bended knees; But silently, by slow degrees, My spirit I to Love compose, In humble trust mine eye-lids close, With reverential resignation No wish conceived, no thought exprest, Only a sense of supplication; A sense […]