Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Birthday to you...

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Gilbert
Happy Birthday to you

It is rather late for a long detailed post, but you can go here to read what Chesterton himself had to say, Enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Abundant Alliteration

1.the commencement of two or more stressed syllables of a word group either with the same consonant sound or sound group (consonantal alliteration), as in from stem to stern, or with a vowel sound that may differ from syllable to syllable (vocalic alliteration), as in each to all. Compare consonance (def. 4a).
2.the commencement of two or more words of a word group with the same letter, as in apt alliteration's artful aid."

Re-reading The Everlasting Man today, I noticed something that merited a second glance. I might not have noticed it if I hadn't been studying the topic recently as a writing technique rather than just wordplay. This was the sentence:
"He would find the trail of monsters blindly developing in directions outside all our common imagery of fish and bird; groping and grasping and touching life with every extravagant elongation of horn and tongue and tentacle; growing a forest of fantastic caricatures of the claw and the fin and the finger."
- Chapter 1
Maybe not all of those were intentional, but they inveigled my interest.`

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Poetry... Saturday

Okay yesterday was crazy so I forgot poetry friday again! I'm very sorry... maybe someday I'll actually remember to do poetry friday on a friday.

A Word

A word came forth in Galilee, a word like to a star;
It climbed and rang and blessed and burnt wherever brave hearts are;
A word of sudden secret hope, of trial and increase
Of wrath and pity fused in fire, and passion kissing peace.
A star that o'er the citied world beckoned, a sword of flame;
A star with myriad thunders tongued: a mighty word there came.

The wedge's dart passed into it, the groan of timber wains,
The ringing of the river nails, the shrieking of the planes;
The hammering on the roofs at morn, the busy workshop roar;
The hiss of shavings drifted deep along the windy floor;
The heat browned toiler's crooning song, the hum of human worth
Mingled of all the noise of crafts, the ringing word went forth.

The splash of nets passed into it, the grind of sand and shell,
The boat-hook's clash, the boas-oars' jar, the cries to buy and sell,
The flapping of the landed shoals, the canvas crackling free,
And through all varied notes and cries, the roaring of the sea,
The noise of little lives and brave, of needy lives and high;
In gathering all the throes of earth, the living word went by.

Earth's giants bowed down to it, in Empire's huge eclipse,
When darkness sat above the thrones, seven thunders on her lips,
The woes of cities entered it, the clang of idols' falls,
The scream of filthy Caesars stabbed high in their brazen halls,
The dim hoarse floods of naked men, the world-realms' snapping girth,
The trumpets of Apocalypse, the darkness of the earth:
The wrath that brake the eternal lamp and hid the eternal hill,

A world's destruction loading, the word went onward still--
The blaze of creeds passed into it, the hiss of horrid fires,
The headlong spear, the scarlet cross, the hair-shirt and the briars,
The cloistered brethren's thunderous chaunt, the errant champion's song,
The shifting of the crowns and thrones, the tangle of the strong.

The shattering fall of crest and crown and shield and cross and cope,
The tearing of the gauds of time, the blight of prince and pope,
The reign of ragged millions leagued to wrench a loaded debt,
Loud with the many-throated roar, the word went forward yet.
The song of wheels passed into it, the roaring and the smoke,
The riddle of the want and wage, the fogs that burn and choke.

The breaking of the girths of gold, the needs that creep and swell,
The strengthening hope, the dazing light, the deafening evangel,
Through kingdoms dead and empires damned, through changes without cease,
With earthquake, chaos, born and fed, rose,--and the word was "Peace."

Thursday, May 24, 2007

St. Joan of Arc- coming up on May 30

JOAN of Arc was not stuck at the Cross Roads either by rejecting all the paths like Tolstoy or by accepting them all like Nietzsche. She chose a path and went down it like a thunderbolt. Yet Joan, when I come to think of her, had in her all that was true either in Tolstoy or Nietzsche -- all that was even tolerable in eitber of them. I thought of all that is noble in Tolstoy: the pleasure in plain things, especially in plain pity, the actualities of the earth, the reverence for the poor, the dignity of the bowed back. Joan of Arc had all that, and with this great addition: that she endured poverty while she admired it, whereas Tolstoy is only a typical aristocrat trying to find out its secret. And then I thought of all that was brave and proud and pathetic in poor Nietzsche and his mutiny against the emptiness and timidity of our time. I thought of his cry for the ecstatic equilibrium of danger, his hunger for the rush of great horses, his cry to arms. Well, Joan of Arc had all that and, again, with this difference, that she did not praise fighting, but fought. We know that she was not afraid of an army, while Nietzsche for all we know was afraid of a cow. Tolstoy only praised the peasant; she was the peasant. Nietzsche only praised the warrior; she was the warrior. She beat them both at their own antagonistic ideals she was more gentle than the one, more violent than the other. Yet she was a perfectly practical person who did something, while they are wild speculators who do nothing. ~G.K. Chesterton

Friday, May 18, 2007

Poetry Friday- The Last Hero

The wind blew out from Bergen from the dawning to the day,
There was a wreck of trees and fall of towers a score of miles away,
And drifted like a livid leaf I go before its tide,
Spewed out of house and stable, beggared of flag and bride.
The heavens are bowed about my head, shouting like seraph wars,
With rains that might put out the sun and clean the sky of stars,
Rains like the fall of ruined seas from secret worlds above,
The roaring of the rains of God none but the lonely love.
Feast in my hall, O foemen, and eat and drink and drain,
You never loved the sun in heaven as I have loved the rain.

The chance of battle changes -- so may all battle be;
I stole my lady bride from them, they stole her back from me.
I rent her from her red-roofed hall, I rode and saw arise,
More lovely than the living flowers the hatred in her eyes.
She never loved me, never bent, never was less divine;
The sunset never loved me, the wind was never mine.
Was it all nothing that she stood imperial in duresse?
Silence itself made softer with the sweeping of her dress.
O you who drain the cup of life, O you who wear the crown,
You never loved a woman's smile as I have loved her frown.

The wind blew out from Bergen to the dawning of the day,
They ride and run with fifty spears to break and bar my way,
I shall not die alone, alone, but kin to all the powers,
As merry as the ancient sun and fighting like the flowers.
How white their steel, how bright their eyes! I love each laughing knave,
Cry high and bid him welcome to the banquet of the brave.
Yea, I will bless them as they bend and love them where they lie,
When on their skulls the sword I swing falls shattering from the sky.
The hour when death is like a light and blood is like a rose, --
You never loved your friends, my friends, as I shall love my foes.

Know you what earth shall lose to-night, what rich uncounted loans,
What heavy gold of tales untold you bury with my bones?
My loves in deep dim meadows, my ships that rode at ease,
Ruffling the purple plumage of strange and secret seas.
To see this fair earth as it is to me alone was given,
The blow that breaks my brow to-night shall break the dome of heaven.
The skies I saw, the trees I saw after no eyes shall see,
To-night I die the death of God; the stars shall die with me;
One sound shall sunder all the spears and break the trumpet's breath:
You never laughed in all your life as I shall laugh in death.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I Apologize

I missed poetry friday AGAIN!!!!!! So I'll have to do Poetry Sunday this week.

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.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Here are the results of my digitally enhancing a pic of G. K. Chesterton.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Curse of the Golden Cross

I have had Chesterton to keep me company while doing laundry lately, more specifically The Incredulity of Father Brown
on Audio. So it is that I have been listening to one story The Curse of the Golden Cross ( I had listened to it multiple times
before), a story that I am very fond of. The first paragraph of the quote I am posting, is very interesting writing, and the rest
is a very cool quote.
Just in case any of you have not read the story I'll give you a little background. Smaill is an archaeologist. While exploring an
underground cavern most likely used as the catacombs were he finds a curious golden cross and is threatened with death by
an unknown person for possessing the golden cross. Many interesting events follow which you will have to read the story to learn about, but in the end he is nearly killed by the threatener, and it is while he is recovering from
the attempted murder that this scene takes place.
Nor, indeed, was it chiefly Father Brown who did the talking; for though the Professor was limited to small doses of the stimulant of conversation, he concentrated most of it upon these interviews with his clerical friend. Father Brown had a talent for being silent in an encouragingway and Smaill was encouraged by it to talk about many strangethings not always easy to talk about; such as the morbid phasesof recovery and the monstrous dreams that often accompany delirium.It is often rather an unbalancing business to recover slowlyfrom a bad knock on the head; and when the head is as interestinga head as that of Professor Smaill even its disturbancesand distortions are apt to be original and curious.His dreams were like bold and big designs rather outof drawing, as they can be seen in the strong but stiffarchaic arts that he had studied; they were full of strangesaints with square and triangular haloes, of golden out--standing crowns and glories round dark and flattened faces,of eagles out of the east and the high headdresses of beardedmen with their hair bound like women.  Only, as he toldhis friend, there was one much simpler and less entangled type,that continually recurred to his imaginative memory.Again and again all these Byzantine patterns would fade awaylike the fading gold on which they were traced as upon fire;and nothing remained but the dark bare wall of rockon which the shining shape of the fish was traced aswith a finger dipped in the phosphorescence of fishes.For that was the sign which he once looked up and saw,in the moment when he first heard round the corner of the darkpassage the voice of his enemy.
`And at last,' he said, `I think I have seen a meaning in the picture and the voice; and one that I never understood before.Why should I worry because one madman among a millionof sane men, leagued in a great society against him,chooses to brag of persecuting me or pursuing me to death?The man who drew in the dark catacomb the secret symbol of Christ was persecuted in a very different fashion.He was the solitary madman; the whole sane societywas leagued together not to save but to slay him.I have sometimes fussed and fidgeted and wondered whetherthis or that man was my persecutor; whether it was Tarrant;whether it was Leonard Smyth; whether it was any one of them.Suppose it had been all of them?  Suppose it had been all the menon the boat and the men on the train and the men in the village.Suppose, so far as I was concerned, they were all murderers.I thought I had a right to be alarmed because I was creepingthrough the bowels of the earth in the dark and there wasa man who would destroy me.  What would it have been like,if the destroyer had been up in the daylight and had ownedall the earth and commanded all the armies and the crowds?How if he had been able to stop all the earths or smoke me out ofmy hole, or kill me the moment I put my nose out in the daylight?What was it like to deal with murder on that scale?The world has forgotten these things, as until a littlewhile ago it had forgotten war.
'`Yes,' said Father Brown, `but the war came.  The fish may be driven underground again, but it will come up into the daylight once more.As St Antony of Padua humorously remarked, `It is only fisheswho survive the Deluge.'`

Friday, May 04, 2007


A thing may be too sad to be believed or too wicked to be believed or too good to be believed, but it cannot be too absurd to be believed in this planet of frogs and elephants, of crocodiles and cuttlefish. ~G.K. Chesterton

Poetry Week Part IV- Poetry Friday

To Saint Michael in Time of Peace
By G.K.Chesterton

Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning,
Michael of the Army of the Lord,
Stiffen thou the hand upon the still sword, Michael,
Folded and shut upon the sheathed sword, Michael,
Under the fullness of the white robes falling,
Gird us with the secret of the sword.

When the world cracked because of a sneer in heaven,
Leaving out for all time a scar upon the sky,
Thou didst rise up against the Horror in the highest,
Dragging down the highest that looked down on the Most High:
Rending from the seventh heaven the hell of exaltation
Down the seven heavens till the dark seas burn:
Thou that in thunder threwest down the Dragon
Knowest in what silence the Serpent can return.

Down through the universe the vast night falling
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning!)
Far down the universe the deep calms calling
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Sword!)
Bid us not forget in the baths of all forgetfulness,
In the sigh long drawn from the frenzy and the fretfulness
In the huge holy sempiternal silence
In the beginning was the Word.

When from the deeps of dying God astounded
Angels and devils who do all but die
Seeing Him fallen where thou couldst not follow,
Seeing Him mounted where thou couldst not fly,
Hand on the hilt, thou hast halted all thy legions
Waiting the Tetelestai and the acclaim,
Swords that salute Him dead and everlasting
God beyond God and greater than His Name.

Round us and over us the cold thoughts creeping
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the battle-cry!)
Round us and under us the thronged world sleeping
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Charge!)
Guard us the Word; the trysting and the trusting
Edge upon the honour and the blade unrusting
Fine as the hair and tauter than the harpstring
Ready as when it rang upon the targe.

He that giveth peace unto us; not as the world giveth:
He that giveth law unto us; not as the scribes:
Shall he be softened for the softening of the cities
Patient in usury; delicate in bribes?
They that come to quiet us, saying the sword is broken,
Break man with famine, fetter them with gold,
Sell them as sheep; and He shall know the selling
For He was more than murdered. He was sold.

Michael, Michael: Michael of the Mustering,
Michael of the marching on the mountains of the Lord,
Marshal the world and purge of rot and riot
Rule through the world till all the world be quiet:
Only establish when the world is broken
What is unbroken is the word.

This one too I do not come close to fully understanding, but can still appreciate and love it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Poetry Week- Part III

The Mystery
By G.K. Chesterton

If sunset clouds could grow on trees
It would but match the may in flower;
And skies be underneath the seas
No topsyturvier than a shower.

If mountains rose on wings to wander
They were no wilder than a cloud;
Yet all my praise is mean as slander,
Mean as these mean words spoken aloud.

And never more than now I know
That man's first heaven is far behind;
Unless the blazing seraph's blow
Has left him in the garden blind.

Witness, O Sun that blinds our eyes,
Unthinkable and unthankable King,
That though all other wonder dies
I wonder at not wondering.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Poetry Week Part II

To atone for my long neglect, many frequent posts will be in order... filled with poetry.
Let me begin with this verse entitled Alliteravitism. I particularly enjoyed this due to the fact that alliteration is a technique which has come up several times in writing class and is one of our most recent "dress-ups". So without further ado let me introduce you to, Alliteravitism By G.K.Chesterton.
SEE the flying French depart
Like the bees of Bonaparte,
Swarming up with a most venomous vitality.
Over Baden and Bavaria,
And Brighton and Bulgaria,
Thus violating Belgian neutrality.

And the injured Prussian may
Not unreasonably say
"Why, it cannot be so small a nationality
Since Brixton and Batavia,
Bolivia and Belgravia,
Are bursting with the Belgian neutrality."

By pure Alliteration
You may trace this curious nation,
And respect this somewhat scattered Principality;
When you see a B in Both
You may take your Bible oath
You are violating Belgian neutrality.

And this was from the same source as my last, as will be the poems to come in the following days.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Poetry... um Tuesday

I really must beg your pardon for my extreme neglect of this blog. A post about the homeschool blog awards to top a blog devoted to Chesterton for several weeks is really inexcusable. Poetry is a much better heading for this blog, and so voila I post poetry... Gloria in Profundis By G.K. Chesterton to be exact.

There has fallen on earth for a token
A god too great for the sky.
He has burst out of all things and broken
The bounds of eternity:
Into time and the terminal land
He has strayed like a thief or a lover,
For the wine of the world brims over,
Its splendour is split on the sand.

Who is proud when the heavens are humble,
Who mounts if the mountains fall,
If the fixed stars topple and tumble
And a deluge of love drowns all-
Who rears up his head for a crown,
Who holds up his will for a warrant,
Who strives with the starry torrent,
When all that is good goes down?

For in dread of such falling and failing
The fallen angels fell
Inverted in insolence, scaling
The hanging mountain of hell:
But unmeasured of plummet and rod
Too deep for their sight to scan,
Outrushing the fall of man
Is the height of the fall of God.

Glory to God in the Lowest
The spout of the stars in spate-
Where thunderbolt thinks to be slowest
And the lightning fears to be late:
As men dive for sunken gem
Pursuing, we hunt and hound it,
The fallen star has found it
In the cavern of Bethlehem.

And actually I did not get this one from poem hunter... I found it here.
I am reminded again by this poem that you do not have to understand everything that you read. (: