Friday, April 17, 2009

Heaney at 70

A Festschrift at the Irish Times.

Are you a right-wing extremist?

Do you favor local authority over federal authority?

Do you oppose abortion?

Well, you might be a right-wing extremist!

The blogger at Vivificat! points us toward a disturbing document from the Obama administration.

(I might be in deep trouble. I voted for Ron Paul in last year's Republican primaries!)

Get your adverbs here

One of today's Google Quotes of the Day is from Stephen King: "The road to hell is paved with adverbs."

He may be right. Then again, note the delicacy of the adverbs in this poem by Edward Estlin Cummings, a signpost, I would say, on the road to heaven.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Three trivial items

... that have nothing to do with poetry or religion!

Trivial item #1: I hereby declare that Rubber Soul and Revolver were both better albums than Sgt. Pepper. And none can controvert!

Trivial item #2: My favorite misheard lyric of all time: "People love bagels!" (for Elvis's "Viva Las Vegas!") I think I prefer the bagel version!

Trivial item #3: Continuing in the pop-music-of-past-years theme. Surnames that, I always felt, sounded a bit "fake": Jagger, Benatar, Gore (Lesley or Al).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quotation from current reading

As long as we remain sheep, we overcome. Even though we may be surrounded by a thousand wolves, we overcome and are victorious. But as soon as we are wolves, we are beaten: for then we lose the support from the Shepherd who feeds not wolves, but only sheep.

St John Chrysostom, from Homily 34 on St Matthew

(via Thomas Merton's Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, pp. 44-45 in my old copy)

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Let all then enter the joy of our Lord!

Both the first and the last and those who come after, enjoy your reward!

Rich and poor, dance with one another, sober and slothful, celebrate the day.

Those who have kept the fast and those who have not, rejoice today, for the table is richly spread.

Fare royally upon it -- the calf is a fatted one.

Let no one go away hungry.

All of you, enjoy the banquet of faith!

All enjoy the riches of his goodness.

Let no one cry over his poverty, for the universal Kingdom has appeared!

Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again, for forgiveness has risen from the grave.

Let no one fear death, for the death of our Savior has set us free.

He has destroyed it by enduring it.

He spoiled the power of hell when he descended thereto.

Isaiah foretold this when he cried, Death has been frustrated in meeting him below!

It is frustrated, for it is destroyed.

It is frustrated, for it is annihilated.

It is frustrated, for now it is made captive.

For it grabbed a body and discovered God.

It took earth and behold! it encountered heaven.

It took what was visible, and was overcome by what was invisible.

O Death, where is your sting?

O Death, where is your victory?

Christ is risen,
and the demons are cast down.

Christ is risen,
and life is set free.

Christ is risen,
and the tomb is emptied of the dead.

For Christ, having risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who sleep.

To him be glory and power forever and ever!

Amen. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

From a sermon of St John Chrysostom