Essay / Literature

New Love to Entertain (Spenser’s Amoretti #4)

NEW yeare forth looking out of Ianus gate, Doth seeme to promise hope of new delight: and bidding th’ old Adieu, his passed date bids all old thoughts to die in dumpish spright. And calling forth out of sad Winters night, fresh loue, that long

Essay / Literature

Sovereign Beauty (Spenser’s Amoretti #3)

THE souerayne beauty which I doo admyre, witnesse the world how worthy to be prayzed: the light wherof hath kindled heauenly fyre, in my fraile spirit by her from basenesse raysed. That being now with her huge brightnesse dazed, base thing I can no more

Essay / Literature

By the Book

“The B-I-B-L-E” doesn’t really pack the same punch for adults as it does for the pre-K Sunday school crowd. But gussied up in the dignity of an Elizabethan homily, the admonition to read my Bible once again demands my attention. “A Fruitful Exhortation to the

Essay / Literature

Unquiet Thought (Spenser’s Amoretti #2)

VNQUIET thought, whom at the first I bred, Of th’ inward bale of my loue pined hart: and sithens haue with sighes and sorrowes fed, till greater then my wombe thou woxen art. Breake forth at length out of the inner part, in which thou

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?

Craig Hazen, 2008. 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!”

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,