Friday, February 23, 2007

Poetry Friday-- Femina Contra Mundum

The sun was black with judgment, and the moon
Blood: but between
I saw a man stand, saying:'To me at least
The grass is green.

'There was no star that I forgot to fear
With love and wonder.
The birds have loved me';
but no answer came --Only the thunder.

Once more the man stood, saying:
'A cottage door,
Wherethrough I gazed
That instant as I turned -- yea, I am vile;
Yet my eyes blazed.

'For I had weighed the mountains in a balance,
And the skies in a scale,
I come to sell the stars -- old lamps for new --
Old stars for sale.

'Then a calm voice fell all the thunder through,
A tone less rough:
'Thou hast begun to love one of my works
Almost enough.'

I'm sure you have no idea where I found this! (:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

TMWWT- Discussion question

Another one of our questions from our wonderful discussion last week:

Syme says that order is poetical rather than disorder. His companion, Gregory, says that it would be poetical to come to the wrong station on a train, Syme argues that the really poetical thing is to hit the mark and come to the right place. Do you agree with Syme?? Gregory??

BTW There is also a TMWWT discussion going on at the ACS, which is more active then this and very interesting.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Poetry Friday- A Hymn

O God of earth and altar,
Bow down and hear our cry,
Our earthly rulers falter,
Our people drift and die;
The walls of gold entomb us,
The swords of scorn divide,
Take not thy thunder from us,
But take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
From lies of tongue and pen,
From all the easy speeches
That comfort cruel men,
From sale and profanation
Of honour and the sword,
From sleep and from damnation,
Deliver us, good Lord.

Tie in a living tether
The prince and priest and thrall,
Bind all our lives together,
Smite us and save us all;
In ire and exultation
Aflame with faith, and free,
Lift up a living nation,
A single sword to thee.

Thank you, poem hunter!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

TMWWT, A Discussion Question

A rather random question from last night's discussion:

Was this book written to be mainly about (and against) anarchy?

Please post answers, thoughts and possible further discussion questions in comment box.

Poetry Friday?-To Edmund Clerihew Bentley

Yesterday was very busy, after our weekly homeschool co-op I stayed much later to have a discussion with the other teens of our group on The Man Who Was Thursday. I am dreadfully sorry, I didn't have time yesterday to finish typing in this poem. This is the poem that dedicates the book to a great friend of Chesterton, Edmund Clerihew Bentley.

A cloud was on the mind of men, and wailing went the weather,
Yea a sick cloud was upon the soul when we were boys together.
Science announced nonentity and art admired decay;
The world was old and ended: but you and I were gay;
Round us in antic order their crippled voices came-
Lust that had lost it's laughter, fear that had lost it's shame.
Like the white lock of Whistler, that lit our aimless gloom,
Men showed their own white feather as proudly as a plume.
Life was a fly that faded, and death a drone that stung;
The world was very old indeed when you and I were young.
They twisted even decent sin to shapes not to be named;
Men were ashamed of honour; but we were not ashamed.
Weak if we were and foolish, not thus we failed, not thus;
When that black Baal blocked the heavens he had no hymns for us.
Children we were- our forts of sand were even as weak as we,
High as they went we piled them up to break that bitter sea.
Fools we were in motley, all jangling and absurd,
When all church bells were silent our cap and bells were heard.

Not all unhelped we held the fort, our tiny flags unfurled;

Some giants laboured in that cloud to lift it from the world.
I find again the book we found, I feel the hour that flings
Far out of fish-shaped Paumanok some cry of cleaner things;
And the Green Carnation withered, as in forest fires that pass,
Roared in the wind of all the world ten million leaves of grass;
Or sane and sweet and suddenas a bird sings in the grey,
Dunedin to Somoa spoke, and darkness unto day.
But we were young; we lived to see God break their bitter charms,
God and the good republic came riding back in arms:
We have seen the city of Mansoul, even as it rocked, relieved-
Blessed are they who did not see, but being blind believed.

This is a tale of those old fears, even of those emptied hells,
And none but you shall understand the true thing that it tells-
Of what colossal gods of shame could cow men and yet crash,
Of what huge devils hid the stars, yet fell at a pistol flash.
The doubts that were so plain to chase, so dreadful to withstand-
Oh, who shall understand but you; yea, who shall understand?
The doubts that drove us through the nightas we two talked amain,
And day has broken on the streets e'er it broke upon the brain.
Between us, by the peace of God, such truth can now be told;
Yea there is strength in striking root, and good in growing old.
We have found common things at last, and marraige and a creed,
And I may safely write it now, and you may safely read.

The Sins of Prince Saradine

I've just remember that I loved this conversation between father Brown and the prince Saradine:

"Do you believe in doom?" asked the restless Prince Saradine suddenly.
"No," answered his guest. "I believe in Doomsday."
The prince turned from the window and stared at him in a singular manner, his face in shadow against the sunset.
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"I mean that we here are on the wrong side of the tapestry," answered Father Brown. "The things that happen here do not seem to mean anything; they mean something somewhere else. Somewhere else retribution will come on the real offender. Here it often seems to fall on the wrong person."

Friday, February 02, 2007

Poetry Friday- Another Ballad of the White Horse exerpt

Well these exerpts are coming out in no kind of order (I hope you don't mind) this part is from the 1st book. King Alfred is understandably discouraged as the Danes conquer much of England while he is hidden in Athelney. During this time Mary comes to him in a vision and tells him:

The gates of heaven are lightly locked,
We do not guard our gain,
The heaviest hind may easily
Come silently and suddenly
Upon me in a lane."

And any little maid that walks
In good thoughts apart,
May break the guard of the Three Kings
And see the dear and dreadful things
I hid within my heart.

"The meanest man in grey fields gone
Behind the set of sun,
Heareth between star and other star,
Through the door of the darkness fallen ajar,
The council, eldest of things that are,
The talk of the Three in One.

"The gates of heaven are lightly locked,
We do not guard our gold,
Men may uproot where worlds begin,
Or read the name of the nameless sin;
But if he fail or if he win
To no good man is told.

"The men of the East may spell the stars,
And times and triumphs mark,
But the men signed of the cross of Christ
Go gaily in the dark.

"The men of the East may search the scrolls
For sure fates and fame,
But the men that drink the blood of God
Go singing to their shame.

"The wise men know what wicked things
Are written on the sky,
They trim sad lamps, they touch sad strings,
Hearing the heavy purple wings,
Where the forgotten seraph kings
Still plot how God shall die.

"The wise men know all evil things
Under the twisted trees,
Where the perverse in pleasure pine
And men are weary of green wine
And sick of crimson seas.

"But you and all the kind of Christ
Are ignorant and brave,
And you have wars you hardly win
And souls you hardly save.

"I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.

"Night shall be thrice night over you,
And heaven an iron cope.
Do you have joy without a cause,
Yea, faith without a hope?"