Misery loves company

A soul which has been caught to serve the enemy’s will then serves as a snare for other souls, for it conceals the grief of sin with its apparent delight.

Ephraim the Syrian, A Spiritual Psalter, Third Stasis.

“Left Hand? Hello, Right Hand calling.”

“Left Hand? Hello, Right Hand calling.”

I see an interesting juxtaposition between columnists at Townhall.com today. Star Parker (who, by the way, is running for Congress) says that “[a]s the economy gets increasingly sophisticated, the penalty for lack of education gets greater. But we’re failing to deliver this needed education to lower income Americans.” Meanwhile, Michael Barone is publicizing the theory that we’re riding an “education bubble” that’s apt to burst.

Continue reading ““Left Hand? Hello, Right Hand calling.””

American Civil Religion Redux

James Allen, a radio talk-show host and second- or third-tier columnist at Townhall.com, praises Glenn Beck as a “great leader” who has a “belief in a transcendent being called God.” I dissent and accuse Allen of suborning violations of the 1st Commandment. Continue reading “American Civil Religion Redux”

Poetry roundup

Part of an occasional series, I point to poetry I’ve encountered and enjoyed in one way or another.

Most of this material is copyrighted, and I don’t care to get permission for use, so I’ll link to Writer’s Almanac, which did have permssion.

Let’s start with love and romance.

Poor Gerald Locklin can hardly get started with a new girl without an old friend showing up, but as he says, “I’ve Always Enjoyed Her Sense of Humor.”

In Complaint, James Wright utters sentiments that make me cringe. I guess it’s a sort of love, but a sort I’d sooner avoid.

In Half-Rack at the Rendezvous, William Notter paints what for me is a vivid, frank and believable picture of two passions and their connection: devouring ribs and “delirious honeybees working wisteria” (wink, wink).

Having been married for nearly 40 years now, I am touched by Epithalamium, by Thomas Lynch, involving the end of a marriage after some 70 years.

Personal relations short of love.

William Notter in Breakfast at the Road Runner Cafe does some people watching a feebly reaches out. What’s he supposed to do? Charles Bukowski’s the finger reminds us of how common a less friendly approach has become. It puts me in mind of how much public affairs coverage proceeds these day: Fox fingering MSNBC and vice-versa.

Reverie and despair.

In I Ride the Greyhound by Ellie Shoenfeld, the locutor is not alone, but (it seems to me) might as well be. Dorothea Tanning in Secret chooses to be alone when she need not be.

Three male poets reflect variously on aging and death:

  • Brotherhood (X.J. Kennedy) is somber, but I’ve been there, too.
  • Maybe if the Jobholder (David Ignatow) would tune in one of the bread and circus channels instead of reading some stupid book, he wouldn’t have noticed what he has noticed.

My final choice seems the most theological and sacramental too me: The Gardener by Ken Weisner.

Your taxonomy of these poems might vary.