Saturday, September 20, 2008

Found at the book sale

at the library at Arlington's Town Day:

Principal Products of Portugal, prose pieces by Donald Hall. Some are about baseball, some about basketball, most are about literature. The masterpiece of the collection is perhaps Hall's encomium for his contemporary, the late James Wright (1927-80).

Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith by Kathleen Norris. I've read this one before, but my cousin has my original copy. I remember reading this book the last time I was called for jury duty!

Two dollars apiece. Not bad for a couple of slightly roughed-up hardcovers.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Coldest morning in Boston

... since May 23rd

Woo hoo! As Emerson wrote, "The cold air invigorates." And 49 degrees isn't all that cold ...

Thursday, September 18, 2008


"a herd of tepid elephants sinking in seedy mud"

Robert Lowell's mother's description of Washington, DC. Found in Robert Lowell: A Biography by Ian Hamilton (Random House, 1982), p. 10

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vivificat must-reads

Vivificat! must-reads

A skeptic's prayer by Peter Kreeft.

"My God is hanging there" by Fr Richard Leonard, SJ, a meditation on suffering with refernce to Dachau, and how modern society has 'domesticated' the scandal of the Cross.

Traditional Catholicism, mainstream Catholicism, and a horror story involving Whitney Houston songs at Mass.

Monday, September 15, 2008

In Boston

In Boston

it's often called tonic.

Recently found

Recently found at the used bookstore

Imitations by Robert Lowell. A collection of Lowell's free renderings of seventy European poems, from the French, German, Italian, and Russian. First published in 1961, the book was controversial for the liberties that Lowell took with the originals, basically rewriting them into his own poems. In spite of this, or even because of this, the volume exerts considerable attraction: the voice is excellent mid-period Lowell; and we can always go back to the originals, if we are conversant in French or Italian, to acquaint ourselves better with literature we might otherwise have missed. (I didn't know this at the time, but the day I bought this book was the anniversary of Lowell's death -- an odd coincidence.)

A Closer Walk with Christ by Raymond Thomas Gawronski, SJ (Our Sunday Visitor Press). A book describing in detail the steps of an Ignatian retreat. The author seems to be in the main stream of Catholicism, and not to be one of those Jesuits who want to be Episcopalian. I have read only the first 20-30 pages, but the book seems to contain many helpful directions toward deepening one's life of prayer.