Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Gerard Manley Hopkins … “Carrion Comfort”

“Ladies in Lavender”, Joshua Bell, from the album “the Essential Joshua Bell”, (2005)

Ayodeji Malcolm Guite (born 12 November 1957)

Ayodeji Malcolm Guite (born 12 November 1957)

Courtesy of Malcolm Guite,  I seem happily to have rediscovered poetry after a hiatus of several decades. Ayodeji Malcolm Guite (born 12 November 1957) is an English poet, singer-songwriter, Anglican priest, and academic. Born in Nigeria to British expatriate parents, Guite earned degrees from Cambridge and Durham universities.

His research interests include the intersection of religion and the arts, and the examination of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, and British poets such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

He is currently a Bye-Fellow and chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge and associate chaplain of St Edward King and Martyr in Cambridge.

On several occasions, he has taught as visiting faculty at several colleges and universities in England and North America. Guite is the author of five books of poetry, some of which are available on Amazon.com Kindle editions.

The poem caught my attention was “St. Michael and All Angels” from “Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year” (London: Canterbury Press, 2012). Found on Amazon.com, for a few bucks.

And by the wandering connections of serendipity I later found Gerard Manley Hopkins. Born at Stratford, Essex, England, on July 28, 1844, Gerard Manley Hopkins is regarded as one the Victorian era’s greatest poets. He was raised in a prosperous and artistic family. He attended Balliol College, Oxford, in 1863, where he studied Classics.

In 1864, Hopkins first read John Henry Newman’s Apologia pro via sua, which discussed the author’s reasons for converting to Catholicism. Two years later, Newman himself received Hopkins into the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1884, he became a professor of Greek at the Royal University College in Dublin. He died five years later from typhoid fever. Although his poems were never published during his lifetime, his friend poet Robert Bridges edited a volume of Hopkins’s Poems that first appeared in 1918. His collected poems, exercised a profound influence on modern poetry.

This volume features all of Hopkins’s mature work, offering a sampler of the poet’s striking originality, intellectual depth, and perceptive vision. Hopkins is considered by many to be the greatest Victorian Poet.

Featured works include his well-known elegy, “The Wreck of the Deutschland,” “God’s Grandeur,” “Hurrahing in Harvest,” “The Windhover,” “Pied Beauty,” and “Carrion Comfort.” Additional verses include “The Caged Skylark,” “The Bugler’s First Communion,” “The Starlight Night,” “The Silver Jubilee,” “Henry Purcell,” “Andromeda,” and others.

Carrion Comfort

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

Not, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

The volume is available from Amazon.com for a couple of bucks … well worth the read.

Cheers

Joe

… and miles to go before we sleep …

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Michaelmas … The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels

Snow”, by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi”  (2013)

Malcolm Guite,

Malcolm Guite,

This is an edited re-post of a previous post from August, and the Feast has arrived, as all good things do. Today is September 29th, the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

As previously mentioned, I came across some interesting books of poetry while browsing my Amazon account like I used to do as a young man in my favorite used book stores in Montreal and Ottawa, long before the days of internet and online anything.

In this enlightened age, following the suggestions of their algorithm of choice on Amazon, or Netflix, or any other marketing bot attempting to sell us stuff, can really end up in a deep ditch of habit unless considered and actively rejected.

Sometimes it pays to actually go on a quest for something different than normal, thinking for oneself can be refreshing … found this poet … Malcolm Guite, interesting man … and very worthwhile considering on our cool fall days. Winter is coming.

St. Michael, Archangel

St. Michael, Archangel

Popularly knows as Michaelmas; also known as the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels) is a minor Christian festival observed in some Western liturgical calendars on 29 September.

It is observed by Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans, and Eastern Orthodox communions. From my Daily Roman Missal:

St. Gabriel

St. Gabriel, Archangel

“St. Michael (“Who is like God”) is the Archangel who fought Satan.  He is the protector of all people and reminds the faithful of the real existence of the Devil and demonic activity. He is invoked for protection from the snares of the Devil.

St. Gabriel (“Strength of God”) announced to St. Zechariah the birth of St. John the Baptist and to the Blessed Virgin Mary the birth of Christ. His greeting to Our Lady, “Hail, full of grace,” is one of the most familiar and frequent prayers of the Church.

St. Raphael, Archangel

St. Raphael, Archangel

St. Raphael (“Medicine of God”) is the Archangel who, in the Book of Tobit, cared for Tobias on his journey. Every person on his or her pilgrimage through this life also has a guardian angel.”

In some denominations a reference to a fourth angel, usually Uriel, is also added. In Christian angelology, the Archangel Michael is the greatest of all the Archangels and is honored for defeating Satan in the war in heaven.

He is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night, and the administrator of cosmic intelligence.

Michaelmas has also delineated time and seasons for secular purposes, as well, particularly in Britain and Ireland as one of the quarter days.

*****

St. Michael and All Angels

Michaelmas gales assail the waning year,
And Michael’s scale is true, his blade is bright.

He strips dead leaves, and leaves the living clear
To flourish in the touch and reach of light.

Archangel bring your balance, help me turn
Upon this turning world with you and dance
In the Great Dance.

Draw near, help me discern,
And trace the hidden grace in change and chance.

Angel of fire, Love’s fierce radiance,
Drive through the deep until the steep waves part;

Undo the dragon’s sinuous influence
And pierce the clotted darkness in my heart.

Unchain the child you find there, break the spell
And overthrow the tyrannies of Hell.

Malcolm Guite, This poem from “Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year” (London: Canterbury Press, 2012). Found on Amazon.com,

*****

Cheers

Joe

… and miles to go before we sleep …

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Life in a small town

St. Michael and All Angels … the Angels of our better nature …

Snow”, by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi”  (2013)

Came across some interesting books of poetry while browsing my Amazon account like I used to do as a young man in my favorite used book stores in Montreal and Ottawa, long before the days of internet and online anything.

Following the suggestions of their algorithm of choice on Amazon, or Netflix, or any other marketing bot attempting to sell us stuff, can really end up in a deep ditch of habit unless considered and actively rejected.

Sometimes it pays to actually go on a quest for something different than normal, thinking for oneself can be refreshing … found this poet … Malcolm Guite, interesting …

St. Michael, Archangel

St. Michael, Archangel

Michaelmas; also known as the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels) is a minor Christian festival observed in some Western liturgical calendars on 29 September.

It is observed by Anglicans, Catholics, Lutherans, and Eastern Orthodox communions.

In some denominations a reference to a fourth angel, usually Uriel, is also added. In Christian angelology, the Archangel Michael is the greatest of all the Archangels and is honored for defeating Satan in the war in heaven.

He is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night, and the administrator of cosmic intelligence.

Michaelmas has also delineated time and seasons for secular purposes, as well, particularly in Britain and Ireland as one of the quarter days.

*****

St. Michael and All Angels

Michaelmas gales assail the waning year,
And Michael’s scale is true, his blade is bright.

St. Michael, Archangel

St. Michael, Archangel

He strips dead leaves, and leaves the living clear
To flourish in the touch and reach of light.

Archangel bring your balance, help me turn
Upon this turning world with you and dance
In the Great Dance.

Draw near, help me discern,
And trace the hidden grace in change and chance.

Angel of fire, Love’s fierce radiance,
Drive through the deep until the steep waves part;

Undo the dragon’s sinuous influence
And pierce the clotted darkness in my heart.

Unchain the child you find there, break the spell
And overthrow the tyrannies of Hell.

Malcolm Guite, This poem from “Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year” (London: Canterbury Press, 2012). Found on Amazon.com,

*****

Cheers

Joe

… and miles to go before we sleep …

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