Sunday, March 04, 2007


If you are very observant you might have noticed that 'Syme' snuck into the 'contributors' list a few weeks ago, and proceeded to say absolutely nothing--an egregious fault which I'm here to fix by...barraging you with info about myself ^_^.

My name is Jessica, but I decided 'Syme' sounded more interesting. I would have taken 'Thursday' but that's too easy to confuse with the good Doctor who sometimes pops up...I'm 17, I'm a Christian, can go to my profile to see the things I like. I'll highlight a few though: Lord of the Rings (books and movies), Pride and Prejudice (book and old bbc movie, since Colin Firth is the consummate Darcy), and in the non-media realm, I love words, poetry, Latin (I'm taking my fourth year of it), what smattering of Greek I've taken, fiddling (I also play classical violin but Scottish fiddling is more fun), horses, And pretty much life in general.

But none of this is why I'm here--I'm here because I'm totally in love with Chesterton. I listened to The Man Who Was Thursday on tape many years ago, and was entirely intrigued by it...I have subsequently read it two or three times, and every time I am equally enthralled. (I might add that Chesterton is one of the few writers whose wit can make me laugh out loud when I'm reading ^_^.) The real infatuation came, however, when I read Orthodoxy: and realized that Chesterton was saying all the things I had somehow felt about Christianity (and life) but had never been able to wordify (ok, so wordify is technically an obsolete term, but who's gonna argue with its wonderful clarity?). His joy, his sense of adventure and romance and poetry, all match so well with my own intuition that pretty much all things Chesterton make me unbelievably happy. I have also read some Father Brown stories, most of All Things Considered (I reccomend 'On Chasing One's Hat'--from which comes the quote on my icon), some short stories I found online, a lot of poetry (amazing!!!!), and most recently, The Everlasting Man. All of which have been incredible...

And, since there was a sad absence of poetry on poetry Friday, I hereby declare a poetry Sunday and will post:

The Convert
After one moment when I bowed my head
And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white,
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead.

The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.

Kind of a fun little poem...

I would end with a few of my favorite Chesterton quotes, but it's way too hard to narrow it down. Basically everything I've read would qualify. One of the ones I think about a lot, though, is from TMWWT: "Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? It is that we have only known the back of the world. We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal. That is not a tree, but the back of a tree. That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud. Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face? If we could only get round in front..."

Well, I suppose I'll stop my cheerful blabbering now and go do some neglected homework...


Ria said...

Welcome, salutations, greetings, hello (ahem, I quote from memory (from The Phantom Tolbooth)(:)
Have you read the Phantom Tolbooth??? If you haven't you should, 'tis very Chestertonian.
Anyways, yes welcome and thank you very much for joining us.
I'm very sorry about the poetry absence last friday. I must admit I forgot ):

Jessica said...

I've read the Phantom Tolbooth...once, I think. I don't remember much about it except that I liked it ^_^

Sarah said...

HI Syme, welcome. We're discussing TMWWT over at the ACS blog, come join us! (I love it, too, and I love the line you quoted, too about seeing the "back of the world")

Nancy C. Brown said...

Sorry, that was me, my daughter was signed in on my computer and I didn't notice.

Anonymous said...

I've read the Phantom Tolbooth, and I only remember some parts...
well,, of to read it now!