Category Archives: Poetry

CLXXIX

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

TAKEOFF FROM LAGUARDIA

April, 1988

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The contrast: nothing could be more alluring

Than New York City shining in the last

Light of evening; nothing less enduring,

That vision off the wing-tip sliding past.

Her own lights are emerging like the slow

Stars above, but eyes are mainly drawn

To buildings like great tongues of flame that glow

Awhile in gathering darkness, and are gone.

At twilight, Manhattan resembles a vast living organism with ribbons of energy pulsing through its streets and up into its hundred thousand buildings.

At twilight, Manhattan resembles a vast living organism with ribbons of energy pulsing through its streets and up into its hundred thousand buildings.

We all have strained for visions in the embers—

They augur something, but who had the codes?

The eyes enjoy the sight; the mind remembers,

Below, the litter blowing in the roads.

The Light, then, and the Dark: but as we flew,

The vision slipped away; the darkness grew.

image-ny-air3

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

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CLXXVIII  

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

The great period of English hymnody was the Eighteenth Century during the First Great Awakening.  The four greatest hymn writers were Isaac Watts, John Newton, William Cowper, and Charles Wesley.  The people trying to write worship music today could learn a few things from those guys.  Think about the fact that Watts was also the author of a widely used logic textbook and Cowper an accomplished poet who would show up in English literature even if he had not written a single hymn.  That might tell you something about our current difficulties.

Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts

QUARTET

Newton, Cowper, Wesley, Watts

Worked within their garden plots;

Domesticated by their toil

Exotic plants in English soil:

Pungent spices, soothing balms,

Cadences of David’s psalms;

Parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme,

Words of God in English rhyme.

Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley

Weeded, hoed, the Garden bears

But few of thistles, thorns, or tares–

Rather, carrots, beans, and maize,

Solid sustenance of praise;

Waving grain and curling vine,

Wheat for bread and grapes for wine;

‘Most every plant beneath the sun–

But leeks and garlic grew they none.

John Newton

John Newton

Much sand now through the glass has spilled;

They lie beneath the ground they tilled.

But still the seeds they sowed abide

And thrive, transplanted far and wide:

Where e’er a congregation sings,

Anew from earth their produce springs.

Such honor still their Lord allots

To Newton, Cowper, Wesley, Watts.

William Cowper

William Cowper

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

Book-CSLTheology-Cover

CLXXVII

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

There are no true paradoxes in Christianity because the God of the Bible is a God who cannot lie.  Therefore, no real contradiction can be so about Him (or anything He made).  But the richness and the depths of Christian truth are shown by the number of seemingly incompatible realities it manages to pull together into a harmony greater than the sum of its parts.

 

CONJUNCTION

At the fulcrum of the Cross

A host of concepts meet:

The Profit hidden in the Loss,

The Victory in Defeat.

Christ's Entry into Jerusalem by Hippolyte Flandrin c. 1842

The Acceptance, the Rejection;

The Worship and the Jeers;

The Freedom in Election,

The Ecstasy in Tears.

Crucifixion-Glass

The Mercy and the Justice;

The Human, the Divine;

Pilate;  Judas;  Jesus–

The broken Bread, the Wine.

LambVictor

 

The Maker of Orion,

The Victim of the Scam;

The Meekness of the Lion,

The glory of the Lamb.

aslan narnia snow winter

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

Book-CSLTheology-Cover

CLXXVI 

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

 Bilbo should have tried this riddle on Gollum, since he had been underground for so long.  The answer is one of the most delicious things you will ever suck into your lungs.

RIDDLE

At times a window bright and clear as glass,

At times a veil of mist drawn o’er the glades,

But always there;

Night be-jeweller of fern and grass,

Home of light and leaf and subtle shades

Beyond compare;

Cool and wet; a hint of sassafras;

A little thin upon the upward grades,

But sweet and fair;

Carrier over valley, peak, and pass

Of haunting melodies that stab like blades

From dulcimer or stream, erasing care:

Mountain air.

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Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

Book-CSLTheology-Cover

CLXXV

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

My friend Mike Bauman is the greatest living practitioner of the Socratic Method on the planet, bar none—as many of his terrorized students will attest.  #Hillsdale  #SummitSemester

Michael Bauman

Michael Bauman

THE SOCRATIC METHOD AT WORK:

Michael Bauman Teaching Milton

“The first rule: Don’t trust anything I say

(I might be speaking for the Enemy),

But when Truth calls to you, you must obey.”

The student body shuddered in dismay,

With pens arrested in mid-note, to see

The first rule:  “Don’t trust anything I say.”

“For there is Truth, though narrow is the Way,

And few that find it.”  (But they will be free

If, when Truth calls to them, they just obey.)

“Do you think that, or is it just O. K.

Because I said it?”  This, persistently.

The first rule: “Don’t trust anything I say.”

“And what is Truth?  And what the Good?  To play

The game, you have to know the rules—the key—

So when Truth calls to you, you can obey.”

His every wink and word was to convey

The simple skill of doubting faithfully.

The first rule:  “Don’t trust anything I say,

But when Truth calls to you, you must obey.”

Donald T. Williams, PhD

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Book-CSLTheology-Cover