Literary prizes

Bethany gets the Flannery O’Connor prize in yesterday’s virtual contest. O’Connor writes about the grotesque–often involving the clash between a fierce religion and a clueless secularism–and this case is certainly grotesque. I’m sure she would have a field day with presenting a child with a weird religion, being futilely plied with childish trinkets from a sentimental modernity, who totally thwarts his kind-hearted but soft-headed foster parents by excommunicating his 5 year old brother.

Tickletext was close to the other answer in guessing some Romantic poet. Indeed, it was William Wordsworth. He thought England needed another MILTON! And they sure did, and we sure do now. It’s interesting how the Romantics, so sick of the Enlightenment sensibility, put that Puritan Christian on such a pedestal. I offer the poem, Wordsworth’s sonnet entitled “England, 1802,” for your pleasure and edification:

MILTON! thou shouldst be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
O raise us up, return to us again,
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power!
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart;
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life’s common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Manxman

    I guess Solomon was right when he wrote that there really isn’t anything new under the sun.

    Question: If we were writing “America, 2008″, who would be the Milton we’d appeal to to provide the inspiration we so desperately need to get out of our American “fen of stagnant waters?”

  • Manxman

    I guess Solomon was right when he wrote that there really isn’t anything new under the sun.

    Question: If we were writing “America, 2008″, who would be the Milton we’d appeal to to provide the inspiration we so desperately need to get out of our American “fen of stagnant waters?”

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    I’d say just the regular old Milton! Anyone have any other suggestions?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    I’d say just the regular old Milton! Anyone have any other suggestions?


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