Poetry

Bl. Ladislaus of Gielniów and the Power of Catholic Culture

 In the year of Our Lord fourteen sixty-two, St. Peter’s chains’ day, I took the cloister’s bonds. In Gielniów, Peter begot me, but Peter, most kind, in the cloister enclosed me: smashed my chains. Thanking good God, with the Psalmist I sing: ‘You have broken my bonds, O merciful God, By a wretch be thanked, [...]

“Mending Wall” by Robert Frost

 All I, myself, can do is to urge you to place friendship above every human concern that can be imagined! Nothing else in the whole world is so completely in harmony with nature, and nothing so utterly right, in prosperity and adversity alike.  — Cicero, “On Friendship” Two men who meet to repair a stone [...]

The Cultures of Life and Death in Poetry

The Culture of Death in Poetry We are all familiar with Blessed John Paul II’s description of the Culture of Death in his 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae.  The good Pope, of course, was not the first to notice and give expression to this phenomenon. In 1922, T. S. Eliot released to the world his account [...]

Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses

“The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” In this one of his most famous lines, Robert Louis Stevenson presents us with a metaphor of the child as a king and the world as his vast domain.  This image of the child king [...]

T.S. Eliot as Mentor

The following essay is reprinted with the permission of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute from The Intercollegiate Review.   T. S. Eliot was indisputably the greatest poet writing in English in the twentieth century. He was also the most revolutionary Anglophone literary critic since Samuel Johnson, and the most influential religious thinker in the Anglican tradition [...]

Brother Beat

Sixty years ago, Catholicism -- for the first time -- stood at the center of American literature. Katherine Anne Porter, Flannery O'Connor, J. F. Powers, Pietro di Donato, and Mary McCarthy represented the front rank of contemporary fiction. Meanwhile poets like John Berryman, Allen Tate, Robert Lowell, John Frederick Nims, and Robert Fitzgerald became the [...]

Poetry, Not Polemics, Mark the Beginning of Advent

Yesterday was the occasion of what has become my annual Christmas poetry luncheon at Buca di Beppo in Washington, D.C.  This year I co-hosted the event with Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, whose Southern charm was needed to offset my post-60 gruffness.   I intended to post videos of all twelve poetry [...]

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