Essay / Literature

Leaves, Lines, and Rymes (Spenser’s Amoretti #1)

HAPPY ye leaues when as those lilly hands, which hold my life in their dead doing might shall handle you and hold in loues soft bands, lyke captiues trembling at the victors sight. And happy lines, on which with starry light, those lamping eyes will deigne

Essay / Literature

Kit Smart: Crazy Praise

Christoper Smart (1722–71) , known to companions as Kit, was a learned poet who wrote plenty of poems which are mostly unreadable now by anybody outside the guild of English literature studies: .Ode to the Earl of Northumberland, To Ethelinda, and Lines After Horace –that

Essay / Literature

Literary Nicknames

When a nickname really fits somebody, it catches on and comes to mind easily. But when somebody doesn’t have a good nickname, it’s no good forcing things. I was recently leafing through a fun book, Asa Don Dickinson’s 1931 list of classics called The Thousand

Essay / Literature

Michael Ward Has Found the Secret of Narnia

George MacDonald once wrote, “It is not the things we see the most clearly that influence us the most powerfully; undefined, yet vivid visions of something beyond, something which eye has not seen nor ear heard, have far more influence than any logical sequences whereby

Essay / Literature

To Judge the Quick and the Dead

I usually keep quiet my liking for musical theater. But this summer I discovered that what I took to be my uniquely under-refined taste is actually common in my eccentric community. On a sailboat moored along the Turkish Coast of the Aegean Sea, I sang

Essay / Literature

Planet Narnia Author Michael Ward to Speak at Biola

The Torrey Honors Institute of Biola University is honored to have Cambridge’s own Dr. Michael Ward speaking for us this Monday evening on his new piece of C.S. Lewis scholarship. Through medieval cosmology, Planet Narnia claims to provide the imaginative key to understanding the Chronicles

Essay / Literature

Five Sacred Crossings: I Wrote a Novel, What Was I Thinking?

Notice the question mark in the blog title. If I had ended with an exclamation point, this little essay would most likely be a warning for all of you never to try this. I did go through the “what was I thinking!” stage. But I

Essay / Literature

Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, But Not Both

George Steiner published a book back in 1959 called Tolstoy or Dostoevsky: An Essay in the Old Criticism. Like all of Steiner’s books, this first publication of his ranges over a lot of territory and sheds light all around. As with most of Steiner’s books,

Essay / Literature

Nothing to Praise

If you’ve never encountered the poetry of Richard Wilbur, one of the most distinguished living Christian poets in the U. S., you might consider picking up his recently published Collected Poems 1943-2004. While much of twentieth century poetry contemplates the anxieties of our age or

Essay / Education

An Olympian Standard of Bible Study

In the preface to Bernard Knox’s book Oedipus at Thebes: Sophocles’ Tragic Hero and His Time, he tells this story: As an undergraduate at Cambridge I had been awestruck by a statement of Walter Headlam, a brilliant Cambridge scholar whose career was cut short by

Essay / Literature

Adam and Eve, "Outside" by Mark Jarman

I don’t read very much contemporary poetry; I admit that I like my poets dead and classic. But one poet I do try to keep up with is Mark Jarman, who teaches at Vanderbilt and is somehow associated with a movement called the New Formalism.

Essay / Literature

Conference on Lewis, the Inklings, and Christian Community

On February 7-9, Azusa Pacific is hosting a conference on the Inklings and Christian Community. Three plenary speakers are scheduled, and a selection of shorter papers will also be presented there, probably in parallel sessions. The website says it’s free, so if you’re near Azusa,