G.K. Chesterton published "A Ballade of Suicide" in his journal, The Eye-Witness, September 21, 1911. This is a ballade, an old French form comprising three octets and a concluding quatrain, in direct address. The stanzas rhyme a-b-a-b-b-a-b-a....
Endeavour to be like the Morning Sun
Now sailing upon the circadian tide
Who grants warmth to the world when it’s earned none,
Without a sound and without hint of pride,
Who lights the land as unversed lovers love,
Demanding nothing, save to give yet...
Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chamber of my brain —
Quaintest thoughts — queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away;
What care I how time advances?
I am drinking ale today.
For many years I taught a course in Twentieth-Century Literature to college seniors. In truth it was actually a course in early to mid-twentieth-century literature because I didn’t teach any text published within the previous forty to...
She got an Oscar for her role
In Downton Abbey; and she played the Queen
In that biopic with Sir Andrew Foale—
You know the one I mean—
He’s in that ad for Windolene;
Her acting gave us so much pleasure:
Nothing too horrid or obscene;
Analytic philosophy is limited in its scope regarding the knowledge of God. Richard Swinburne, a British contemporary philosopher influential for his arguments for the existence of God, admits the limitations of his field in his lecture, “What We...
She’s earnest for equality
And vigilant for women’s rights;
She frowns on all frivolity,
Of justice she is keen to scale the heights,
And to this end she sat up nights
And studied law—you get the gist—
And now she’s qualified in slights.
They say she is...
They say that we are running out
Of everything; if we don’t wean
Ourselves from greed, continually flout
The laws of Nature—put ourselves in quarantine
From Baltimore to Bethnal Green—
We’ll crash this Spaceship Earth if we don’t man it,
And all become more fit and...
It looks just like a pile of wood
Dumped in the middle of the town;
They say that it is very good,
And might be worth ten thousand pounds—
Especially in spacious grounds,
Like those of Buffy Bagshott, Bart;
They say that it will do the...
In his "Elegy," Thomas Gray wrote a great, sometimes mystifying and troubling poem, and, where the pastoral impulse is concerned, an admonishing one...
No one born after the French Revolution, said the durable Talleyrand, can know how...
T.S. Eliot’s poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," shows that men do not need more pleasurable escapes or more time, but loving friends and an introduction to reality. They need to listen to human voices instead of the illusive mermaids out in the ocean. And...
Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as...
W.H. Auden realized that J.R.R. Tolkien’s greatness was not simply the result of a capacity for the fantastic, but rather that it relied just as much on his scholarly acumen as on his imagination...