Saturday, November 29, 2014

the race that long in darkness pined has seen a glorious light

The race that long in darkness pined
has seen a glorious light;
the people dwell in day, who dwelt
in death's surrounding night. 
To hail thy rise, thou better Sun,
the gathering nations come,
joyous as when the reapers bear
the harvest-treasures home. 
To us a Child of hope is born,
To us a Son is given;
him shall the tribes of earth obey,
him all the hosts of heaven. 
His name shall be the Prince of Peace
for evermore adored,
the Wonderful, the Counsellor,
the great and mighty Lord. 
His power increasing still shall spread,
his reign no end shall know;
justice shall guard his throne above
and peace abound below.
[John Morison, 1781]

but why were they on his property

by David Berman

Walking through a field with my little brother Seth

I pointed to a place where kids had made angels in the snow.
For some reason, I told him that a troop of angels
had been shot and dissolved when they hit the ground.

He asked who had shot them and I said a farmer.

Then we were on the roof of the lake.
The ice looked like a photograph of water.

Why he asked. Why did he shoot them.

I didn't know where I was going with this.

They were on his property, I said.

When it's snowing, the outdoors seem like a room.

Today I traded hellos with my neighbor.
Our voices hung close in the new acoustics.
A room with the walls blasted to shreds and falling.

We returned to our shoveling, working side by side in silence.

But why were they on his property, he asked.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

in every way sufficient

"Jesus Christ is in every way sufficient to the vast desires of the human soul." 
[John Flavel]

Monday, November 24, 2014

it is folded, and folded, and folded

There is something in me maybe someday
to be written; now it is folded, and folded,
and folded, like a note in school.

[Sharon Olds]

Sunday, November 23, 2014

laundry list of attributes women must have

“But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—BeyoncĂ© brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”

[Tina Fey, Bossy Pants]

Friday, November 21, 2014

dispel with glorious splendour the darkness everywhere

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God's love aright,
She bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.

[Theodore Baker, 1894]

the outflowing stream of intelligence

"The mouth was equipped by our makers for its office with teeth, tongue, and lips arranged as now, for the sake at once of what is necessary and what is best. They devised it as the passage whereby necessary things might enter and the best things pass out; for all that comes in to give sustenance to the body is necessary; but the outflowing stream of discourse, ministering to intelligence, is of all streams the best and noblest." 
[Timaeus in Plato's Timaeus, 75e, Translator Francis M. Cornford]

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Happy Winter. Listening to this everyday until winter is over.

[Vivaldi, Concerto No.4 in F minor, Op.8, RV 297, " L'inverno", Allegro Non Molto]

Monday, November 17, 2014

i felt a cleaving in my mind

The Lost Thought

I felt a cleaving in my mind
As if my brain had split;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
But could not make them fit.
The thought behind I strove to join
Unto the thought before,
But sequence ravelled out of reach
Like balls upon a floor.

[Emily Dickinson]

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

the cure for apathy

"Apathy is one of the characteristic responses of any living organism when it is subjected to stimuli too intense or too complicated to cope with. The cure for apathy is comprehension."
[John Dos Passos]

Sunday, November 09, 2014

i am not afraid of the truth

"There is probably no point of view possible to a sane man but contains some truth and, in the true connection, might be profitable to the race. I am not afraid of the truth, if any one could tell it me, but I am afraid of parts of it impertinently uttered."
[Robert Louis Stevenson, Learning to Write 134 (1888; repr. 1920).]