Friday, May 04, 2012

You have given life

The glory-braided maiden
We call Genitrix of grace, Mother of the Church,
Queen of all creation.

A countenance of luminous darkness
Receives the veneration of the moon:
Snow-capped mountains and the roots of rivers,
Cedars of Lebanon, pine trees of the northland,
Rest protected from all ill and evil
Beneath her heaven-woven mantle.

Wounded for a time, henceforth triumphant,
The tender-handed heart which cradled the dead Christ
Sends forth the light of hope
To the double-minded earth, to the five-fingered stars.

Sunlight and womanhood, wisdom, humility,
Harmonize, conspire, breathe together
To magnify the Lord:
Confounded are the hearts of all the proud.

Silent expectation
As the cold world waits its rescue and redemption:

For she is a vapour of the power of God
And a certain pure emanation
Of the glory of the all-mighty God.

She reneweth all things
And through nations conveyeth herself
Unto holy souls.

For she is more beautiful than the sun,
And above all the order of the stars.

You have given life to the One
Whose death and rising from the dead
Gives life to a fallen world: therefore, we praise you,
With angels, saints, and holy ones
Unto the ages of ages.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

What Difference Does It Make

... in which the lyrics of the Smiths classic are illustrated with an impish cleverness!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Sonnet XVII

by Pablo Neruda (1904-73)

I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz 
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: 
I love you as certain dark things are loved, 
secretly, between the shadow and the soul. 

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries 
hidden within itself the light of those flowers, 
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body 
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth. 

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, 
I love you simply, without problems or pride: 
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving 

but this, in which there is no I or you, 
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, 
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.


No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio 
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego: 
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras, 
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma. 

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva 
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores, 
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo 
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra. 

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde, 
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo: 
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera, 

sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres, 
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía, 
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.

+ + +

(100 Love Sonnets: Cien Sonetos De Amor, trans. by Stephen Tapscott)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The May Magnificat

by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ (1844-89)

May is Mary's month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season—

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature's motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring's universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfèd cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all—

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.

from Psalm 5

Verba mea auribus.

PONDER my words, O LORD,  consider my meditation.

O hearken thou unto the voice of my calling, my King and my God: for unto thee will I make my prayer.

My voice shalt thou hear betimes, O LORD; early in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

But as for me, in the multitude of thy mercy I will come into thine house; and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

And let all them that put their trust in thee rejoice: they shall ever be giving of thanks, because thou defendest them; they that love thy Name shall be joyful in thee.

For thou, LORD, wilt give thy blessing unto the righteous, and with thy favourable kindness wilt thou defend him as with a shield.


if I

choose to

write a

poem about


(and I

just might),

it will be

long and

thin and


fun to

pick up

with a


Immortal Literature

This is just to say
that I have not eaten the prunes
in William Carlos Williams' icebox
because I can't stand prunes.
The end.

Chesterbelloc: A Clerihew

Gilbert Keith
Had pretty teeth
But they couldn't quite compare
To those of his friend Hilaire.