O WORLD invisible, we view thee, O world intangible, we touch thee, O world unknowable, we know thee, Inapprehensible, we clutch thee! Does the fish soar to find the ocean, The eagle plunge to find the air– That we ask of the stars in motion If they have rumor of thee there? Not where the wheeling systems darken, And our benumbed conceiving soars!– The drift of pinions, would we hearken, Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors. The angels keep their ancient places– Turn but a stone and start a wing! Tis… Read more Poetry Survey Series Post Ten: The Kingdom of God by Francis Thompson →
Here is one of the more extraordinary poems of Emily Dickinson, numbered 480. My understanding is that the dash marks are breaths that interrupt the meter (Emily’s own exclusive technique.) It may interest readers to remember that Emily died a spinster and a near-recluse. *** “Why do I love” You, Sir? Because— The Wind does not require the Grass To answer—Wherefore when He pass She cannot keep Her place. Because He knows—and Do not You— And We know not— Enough for Us The Wisdom it be so— The Lightning—never asked an Eye Wherefore it shut—when He was by— Because He knows it cannot speak— And reasons… Read more Poetry Survey Series Post 1 →
Refrain: I called you early in the morning; I called at noon; I called at three. And now the day falls toward the gloaming – if I come soon, will you be free? 1. Will you come out for just an hour to walk with me beneath the trees? I found you hiding in your bower with your head hung between your knees. 2. Have you gone to another lover? “I did, but soon he hated me. My passion flowed then like a river. It flowed away, but I’m not… Read more Folk Song to “Wayfarin’ Stranger” →
I’ve been studying current practices for the construction of stories. What is story? It is the human activity of representing mankind’s life through narrative. I say that it is mankind’s whole life that is represented, not because I believe each story should include everything that life is, but because I think it’s a mistake to organize story theory around only one aspect of human experience. If story represents life itself, then we have to ask the question: In what do men’s lives truly consist? What is essential? At the center… Read more A Theory of Story Structured Around Something Other Than Conflict →
I’ve pretty much been writing a poem a day for a while. So far I’ve been able to salvage 5. Dance When he whirls her round and round her patterned waist rat-tatts his hands. Her mind is oppositely wound and cannot spin with beer and glands surrender to a lilting sound and yield a body for a flower. She wants a word of power. What brief and commonplace return does he expect he can extract with mutterings of burn and yearn? What deep attention she’d exact – he ought to… Read more Five Poems: Poem 1, Dance →
So if every one is supposed to govern himself and his own affairs and not steal the power of others or cede his own power to someone else – what is obedience for? Christians particularly may wonder about this, given scriptural admonitions about obedience. Obedience is not giving your power to someone else and it is certainly not allowing anyone else to take your power – the coherence of your soul, your will. Obedience is the only civilized way of wielding someone else’s power on their behalf, as their steward.… Read more Power and Obedience →
Shall I tell you what I remember of the ancient godling, when he was wooing me and I was drunk with eager love? How he gazed at me with whole-eyed looks, between guileless birch and from everlasting domes! Where light washed around us yellow and green, he appeared to me, a lonely girl who lifted her eyes up and cast her her heart amazed to expand in a firmament feathered with gale-souled treetops seeming not too vast for its blessed visitor. His mistake was coming to me as a god.… Read more Elegy To A God →
Is carved in sad stone Again and again along my soul’s shore And some of the graves are long overgrown with whistling reeds idiotically bowing over and over though no one is there.