Category: Poetry

Happy Reformation Day, or, How Melanchthon Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Jesus

Obviously, everyone should celebrate Reformation Day. At this point, even the Church of Rome has surreptitiously attempted to take on board many of the Reformation’s emphases, albeit in impure form and without the necessary dogmatic changes—er, development[1]—that would allow her...

/ October 31, 2019

On “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”

John Keats’s “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” is a poem about the discovery of new terrains of the imagination made possible by the translation of great works into one’s mother tongue.

/ August 13, 2019

On Marianne Moore’s “Poetry”

Why do we read poetry? Why should we? April is National Poetry Month, so it makes sense to take advantage of it to introduce a new series on poetry at Mere Orthodoxy. Its objective is simple: to read some poems,...

/ April 16, 2019

The Prophet of Unbelief: On Arthur Clough, T. S. Eliot’s Forgotten Predecessor

By Clark Elder Morrow Allow me to quote a brace of familiar lines from T. S. Eliot’s “Choruses from ‘The Rock'”: In the land of lobelias and flannels The rabbit shall burrow and the thorn revisit, The nettle shall flourish...

/ November 30, 2018

The Worldly Poetry of the Puritans

I’m pleased to have Stephen Wolfe back with us again today for this piece on Puritan poetry. The common understanding of the Puritans, in both popular and academic circles, is that they were hostile to all art, despisers of human...

/ July 1, 2016

Walt Whitman on Neighbors and Strangers

It is good to remember, especially in light of these presidential primaries, that no era is without its share of baffling endorsements. Andrew Carnegie, whose imperious steel mills did more than perhaps anyone to antagonize the neo-transcendentalist folklore of Leaves...

/ March 10, 2016

Waking in the Dark Wood

Midway this way of life we’re bound upon, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, Where the right way was wholly lost and gone. Canto 1:1-3, Inferno Now, this is an interesting way to start a story. From...

/ August 11, 2011

Italian Sonnet

I AM, the holy smoking fire, Burns bright on Sinai’s awful height; And tremors from His words of might Split wide the earth and shake the pyre Where goat and bull and Self perspire: Vain off’rings for the King of...

/ April 28, 2010

Bethlehem, by Charles Williams

‘Let us go a journey,’ Quoth my soul to my mind, ‘Past the plains of darkness Is a house to find Where for my thirsting I shall have my fill, And from my torment I shall be still.’ ‘Let us...

/ December 25, 2008

Carol, by Dorothy Sayers

The Ox said to the Ass, said he, all on a Christmas night: “Do you hear the pipe of the shepherds a-whistling over the hill? That is the angels’ music they play for their delight, ‘Glory to God in the...

/ December 24, 2008