Friday, December 28, 2007

Poetry- The House of Christmas

I know, I know I forgot again... but at least I'm remembering now(:

There fared a mother driven forth
Out of an inn to roam;
In the place where she was homeless
All men are at home.
The crazy stable close at hand,
With shaking timber and shifting sand,
Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand
Than the square stones of Rome.

For men are homesick in their homes,
And strangers under the sun,
And they lay on their heads in a foreign land
Whenever the day is done.
Here we have battle and blazing eyes,
And chance and honour and high surprise,
But our homes are under miraculous skies
Where the yule tale was begun.

A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost - how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky's dome.

This world is wild as an old wives' tale,
And strange the plain things are,
The earth is enough and the air is enough
For our wonder and our war;
But our rest is as far as the fire-drake swings
And our peace is put in impossible things
Where clashed and thundered unthinkable wings

Round an incredible star.
To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Another Merry Christmas

I hope that you are all having a peaceful, joyful and very merry Christmas. And since this is Christmas day, it would be most unfair to not post a Chesterton quote for Christmas when GKC is such a champion of Christmas and this blogg in Chesterteens. So anyways, from The Everlasting Man two old and incredible favorites:

"The hands that had made the sun and stars were too small to reach the huge heads of the cattle."

"Unless we understand the presence of that enemy, we shall not only miss the
point of Christianity, but even miss the point of Christmas. Christmas for us in
Christendom has become one thing, and in one sense even a simple thing. But
like all the truths of that tradition, it is in another sense a very complex thing.
Its unique note is the simultaneous striking of many notes; of humility, of
gaiety, of gratitude, of mystical fear, but also of vigilance and of drama. It is
not only an occasion for the peacemakers any more than for the merry-makers;
it is not only a Hindu peace conference any more than it is only a
Scandinavian winter feast. There is something defiant in it also; something that
makes the abrupt bells at midnight sound like the great guns of a battle that has
just been won. All this indescribable thing that we call the Christmas
atmosphere only hangs in the air as something like a lingering fragrance or
fading vapour from the exultant explosion of that one hour in the Judean hills
nearly two thousand years ago. But the savour is still unmistakable, and it is
something too subtle or too solitary to be covered by our use of the word
peace. By the very nature of the story the rejoicings in the cavern were
rejoicings in a fortress or an outlaw's den; properly understood it is not unduly
flippant to say they were rejoicings in a dug-out. It is not only true that such a
subterranean chamber was a hiding-place from enemies; and that the enemies
were already scouring the stony plain that lay above it like a sky. It is not only
that the very horse-hoofs of Herod might in that sense have passed like
thunder over the sunken head of Christ. It is also that there is in that image a
true idea of an outpost, of a piercing through the rock and an entrance into an
enemy territory. There is in this buried divinity an idea of undermining the
world; of shaking the towers and palaces from below; even as Herod the great
king felt that earthquake under him and swayed with his swaying palace."

N.B. The chapter entitled The God in the Cave, is a perfect Christmas reading. On the pdf version that chapter starts somewhere around page 110. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas !!!

Although I wouldn't like to celebrate Christmas before it comes, let me wish you a Merry Christmas as well as a Happy New Year.
I've found this interesting article by Chesterton on Christmas (hope you like it if you hadn't heard of it) and a most funny quote about New Year:

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective. (G K Chesterton)

¡Feliz Navidad!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Poetry Thursday-- More of Book 4

"Now here is a good warrant,"
Cried Alfred, "by my sword;
For he that is struck for an ill servant
Should be a kind lord.

"He that has been a servant
Knows more than priests and kings,
But he that has been an ill servant,
He knows all earthly things.

"Pride flings frail palaces at the sky,
As a man flings up sand,
But the firm feet of humility
Take hold of heavy land.

"Pride juggles with her toppling towers,
They strike the sun and cease,
But the firm feet of humility
They grip the ground like trees.

"He that hath failed in a little thing
Hath a sign upon the brow;
And the Earls of the Great Army
Have no such seal to show.

"The red print on my forehead,
Small flame for a red star,
In the van of the violent marching, then
When the sky is torn of the trumpets ten,
And the hands of the happy howling men
Fling wide the gates of war.

This blow that I return not
Ten times will I return
On kings and earls of all degree,
And armies wide as empires be
Shall slide like landslips to the sea
If the red star burn.

"One man shall drive a hundred,
As the dead kings drave;
Before me rocking hosts be riven,
And battering cohorts backwards driven,
For I am the first king known of Heaven
That has been struck like a slave.

"Up on the old white road, brothers,
Up on the Roman walls!
For this is the night of the drawing of swords,
And the tainted tower of the heathen hordes
Leans to our hammers, fires and cords,
Leans a little and falls.

"Follow the star that lives and leaps,
Follow the sword that sings,
For we go gathering heathen men,
A terrible harvest, ten by ten,
As the wrath of the last red autumn--then
When Christ reaps down the kings.

"Follow a light that leaps and spins,
Follow the fire unfurled!
For riseth up against realm and rod,
A thing forgotten, a thing downtrod,
The last lost giant, even God,
Is risen against the world."

Friday, December 14, 2007


The new member thanks you! Welcome back! Nice pic/quotes!

P.S. I posted the above message as a comment but deleted it on account of a typing mistake. The page appears to be messed up (at least on my screen) because of this. Has it done anything to the page as you all see it?
Much obliged,

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Poetry Thursday

Since we're all in a Ballad mood, and because the ballad is SOOOO cool~ another of my favorite passages:

"And well may God with the serving-folk
Cast in His dreadful lot;
Is not He too a servant,
And is not He forgot ?

For was not God my gardener
And silent like a slave;
That opened oaks on the uplands
Or thicket in graveyard gave?

And was not God my armourer,
All patient and unpaid,
That sealed my skull as a helmet,
And ribs for hauberk made?

Did not a great grey servant
Of all my sires and me,
Build this pavilion of the pines,
And herd the fowls and fill the vines,
And labour and pass and leave no signs
Save mercy and mystery?

For God is a great servant,
And rose before the day,
From some primordial slumber torn;
But all we living later born
Sleep on, and rise after the morn,
And the Lord has gone away.

On things half sprung from sleeping,
All sleepy suns have shone,
They stretch stiff arms,
the yawning trees,
The beasts blink upon hands and knees,
Man is awake and does and sees--
But Heaven has done and gone.

For who shall guess the good riddle
Or speak of the Holiest,
Save in faint figures and failing words,
Who loves, yet laughs among the swords,
Labours, and is at rest?

But some see God like Guthrum,
Crowned, with a great beard curled,
But I see God like a good giant,
That, labouring, lifts the world.

Wherefore was God in Golgotha,
Slain as a serf is slain;
And hate He had of prince and peer,
And love He had and made good cheer,
Of them that, like this woman here,
Go powerfully in pain.

But in this grey morn of man's life,
Cometh sometime to the mind
A little light that leaps and flies,
Like a star blown on the wind.

A star of nowhere, a nameless star,
A light that spins and swirls,
And cries that even in hedge and hill,
Even on earth, it may go ill
At last with the evil earls.

A dancing sparkle, a doubtful star,
On the waste wind whirled and driven;
But it seems to sing of a wilder worth,
A time discrowned of doom and birth,
And the kingdom of the poor on earth
Come, as it is in heaven.

But even though such days endure,
How shall it profit her?
Who shall go groaning to the grave,
With many a meek and mighty slave,
Field-breaker and fisher on the wave,
And woodman and waggoner.

Bake ye the big world all again
A cake with kinder leaven;
Yet these are sorry evermore--
Unless there be a little door,
A little door in heaven."

Again, I must say, read it in context. This quote is from book 4 which relates the famous story of Alfred and the cakes. The a classic story, probably the most well-known of Alfred legends, is beautifully embroidered with rich imagery and splendid quotes. I'll post more of book four next week.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

2nd Anniversary

The detective Gabriel Syme
Was the poet of reason and rhyme
His constant sense of the comic
Carried him through the dangerous, and the the ironic.

The blog of the american chesterton society is just over two years old! In celebration they are hosting games and contests here. Compose a triolet, ballad or clerihew and don't forget to eat on the floor! Congratulations ACS!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I apologize for neglecting Chesterteens for so long.

In my absence a new member seems to have joined (Welcome!) and several wonderful posts have been written.

I have downloaded GIMP and found it to be a useful and fun computer graphics tool. I decided to make some Chesterton-themed pictures, and here they are. I must admit that the text is messed up on the cheese pic, I prefer the fence one myself. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Poetry Thursday

I have decided that, in honor of Syme (the poet hero of The Man Who Was Thursday, for those who don't know), the "weekly" poetry will be posted on a thursday. That is, of course, if I remember to do so :).

So without further ado, another piece of The Ballad of the White Horse:

"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?"

Monday, December 03, 2007

Homeschool Blog Awards

Voting starts today! Go take a look at the blogs and have fun! There are a lot of cool blogs nominated, take a look.