A BIRD IS A POEM IS AN ALTAR: The Elegant “Pattern Poetry” of George Herbert

George Herbert (1593 – 1633) was a Welsh poet, orator and Anglican priest.  He was wealthy, artistic and talented, and enjoyed prominence at Cambridge University and, later, in the British Parliament.Herbert had long been attracted to the priesthood, though; and in his late 30s he refocused his attention on God and was ordained in the Church of England.  He served a rural parish in Wiltshire, southwest of London, in 1630.  During his brief ministry, he wrote unique and deeply spiritual poem … [Read more...]

THE POETRY OF FAITH: Once Upon a Time, Belief Was Normative


Doesn't it sometimes seem that you were meant to live in a different age?  That the world has turned and somehow, you didn't get the memo?I ran across an article on "The Poetry of Faith" which appeared in Time Magazine.  Published on July 1, 1946, it offered a thumbs-up review of a new anthology of Catholic poetry by the British poet Alfred Noyes.  "The greatest writing in human history," said Time, "is religious writing."  Oh, how I ache for my beloved Church to be once again held in such hi … [Read more...]

T.S. Eliot Reads "Journey of the Magi"

On January 6, we remember the Magi-- those wise kings from the East who visited the infant Jesus, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.American-born playwright, literary critic and poet T. S. Eliot wrote his famous poem “Journey of the Magi” in 1927, following his conversion to Christianity and his confirmation in the Church of England.  The dramatic monologue tells the story from the viewpoint of one of the magi.  Tired and discouraged, the magus complains that the journey has been … [Read more...]