Toward Better Abortion Conversations: A Play, a Poem and a Fragile Forward Path

As the Supreme Court was pondering the landmark case Roe v. Wade, my generation came of age. "Abortion? What's that?" I asked my dad, who seemed to always have an informed opinion on the news. After explaining the basics of abortion to me, my father sent me to the high school library to research the … Continue reading Toward Better Abortion Conversations: A Play, a Poem and a Fragile Forward Path

Choose Something Like a Star: A Christmas Contemplation Inspired by Robert Frost

Starry skies call those who long for silence: leave the party, the mall, the jingle bell rock, the smart phone, the laptop and the trivial TV. Step outside. Look up. Robert Frost's 1943 poem “Choose Something Like a Star" speaks to our position beneath the glittering skyscape. Alone beneath the stars the poet addresses "the … Continue reading Choose Something Like a Star: A Christmas Contemplation Inspired by Robert Frost

Loathing and Hopelessness, Juice and Joy: Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Secret Sorrow

"Outwardly I think I am employed to what is of no or little use," Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote in his journal just months before his death. "I was continuing this train of thought this evening when I began to enter on that course of loathing and hopelessness which I have so often felt before..." I … Continue reading Loathing and Hopelessness, Juice and Joy: Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Secret Sorrow

Poetry’s Penetrating Power in Five Minutes with the Daily Poem Podcast

 ...I have had too much Of apple-picking: I am overtired Of the great harvest I myself desired. Poetry wounds and and poetry heals.  It lifts the spirit and breaks our hearts. Profound poets offer the gift of contemplation.  Transcendent truth slips into the soul through the simple, solid things poets hold before our eyes. Take … Continue reading Poetry’s Penetrating Power in Five Minutes with the Daily Poem Podcast

George Herbert’s Secrets of Soul Revealed in a Package of Poetry

He suffered with poor health throughout his life and died of consumption in 1633 at the age of 39.  Before he died he sent a collection of poems to a friend, the founder of the Anglican religious community, Little Gidding. This request, it is said, accompanied the manuscript: Sir, I pray deliver this little book … Continue reading George Herbert’s Secrets of Soul Revealed in a Package of Poetry

T.S. Eliot: There Is Not Enough Silence

T. S. Eliot, Ash Wednesday Lois Untermeyer, in Modern American Poetry, says "Ash Wednesday" is perhaps T. S. Eliot's most perfect poem. It's perfect for beginning a season contemplating both speech and silence. Eliot is best known for "his brooding masterpiece" The Waste Land, the cryptic condemnation of desiccated, fruitless modernism. In this, Fr. George Rutler … Continue reading T.S. Eliot: There Is Not Enough Silence