For His Birthday, Robert Frost’s “Prayer In Spring”

The beloved American poet philosopher Robert Frost, four-time Pulitzer Prize winner, had a birthday this week!  Frost was born on March 26, 1874.Frost is best known for his sentimental depictions of American rural life.  You may remember one of his best known verses: "Two roads diverged a wood--and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."Today, though--as light flakes of snow fall here in Michigan (again!)--I'd like to share his Prayer In Sp … [Read more...]

Giving Up Poetry for Lent: Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Quest for Perfection

Gerard Manley Hopkins (Photo: Wikipedia Commons,  work by Rowan Gillespie, used with permission)

For the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, the year 1866 was marked by introspection and transformation.  On January 18, 1866, he composed his poem The Habit of Perfection, which hailed the virtue of ascetism.  Five days later, on January 23, he included poetry in a list of things he planned to give up for Lent.  And by July, against the wishes of his family, he had decided to leave his native Anglicanism for the Catholic Church.That September, he traveled to Birmingham to consult with John … [Read more...]

Edgar Allan Poe’s Hymn to Our Lady

Edgar Allan Poe portrait B

Did you know that Edgar Allen Poe once penned a hymn to Our Lady?Poe, the tortured poet of the American Romantic Movement, is best known for his stories of mystery and the macabre--stories like "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Tell-Tale Heart," and famous narrative poems like "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee."His onomatopoeic poem "The Bells," which was published after his death in 1849, is believed to have been inspired by the bells of the tower at … [Read more...]