Category Archives: Poetry

CARING FOR WORDS IN A CULTURE OF LIES

I recently read McEntyre’s Make a List which was terrific.  I have been wanting to read Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies for some time and finally got around to it.  It did not disappoint.

This book will inspire you to see the beauty and power of well-crafted words.

Not that this was the author’s explicit purpose, but it helps us read Scripture more carefully.

GIVE A GIFT TO YOURSELF!

This is the third book I’ve read by Tim Larsen. I interviewed him on the other two books.

There is so very much to like about this book. I will simply list out four of my favorite things about the book:

Some shorter books like Larsen’s pack in plenty of content. If a lecture series becomes a book (as is the case with this book), there is a better than average chance that the smaller size book will have great content. You can see this with books (from another lecture series) like Andrew Delbanco’s fascinating, The Real American Dream. Larsen’s book does not disappoint as it offers the reader plenty of material.

Even though there is much content, the writing is lucid and engaging.

Larsen is an eminent historian of nineteenth-century Britain. You can always count on him to do careful archival work and know the primary sources. This book showcases those strengths.

Larsen is sensitive, as was George MacDonald, to Christians who struggle with doubt. As one who knows firsthand these struggles, I greatly appreciate Larsen’s treatment in this book.

Perhaps it is too late for a Christmas present, but how about a present for yourself for the new year?!

THE POWER OF BOOKS

[Frigates are warships and Coursers are swift horses.  Now enjoy the brilliance of Emily!]
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –
(Emily Dickinson)
HT: Karen Swallow Prior

THE CARE GREAT BOOKS DESERVE!

In the previous post I interviewed Dave Mahan on poetry.  Dave mentioned a formative teacher in Peter Hawkins.  Here is a short video where Hawkins talks about a number of things, but I want to draw your attention to “careful reading” and really falling in love with great texts.

HOW CAN I BETTER CONCENTRATE?

Answer: Read poetry!

From Philip Yancey:

“I find that poetry helps. You can’t zoom through poetry; it forces you to slow down, think, concentrate, relish words and phrases. I now try to begin each day with a selection from George Herbert, Gerard Manley Hopkins, or R. S. Thomas.”

The rest is below (HT: Thomas Kidd’s email letter)

Reading Wars

 

DYING INCH BY INCH

Recently, I listened to a sermon by Howard Hendricks.  Hendricks taught for sixty years at Dallas Theological Seminary.  He died in 2013.   In the message, Hendricks described one of his favorite poems, “The Night They Burned Shanghai” by Robert Abrahams.  It tells of a couple driving to play Bridge with some of their friends.  As they are en route they survey what is going on in the world.  The luxury of playing Bridge is juxtaposed with various world tragedies.  The poem ends with these arresting lines:

Tonight Shanghai is burning

And we are dying too

What bomb more surely mortal

Than death inside of you 

For some men die by shrapnel

And some go down in flames

But most men perish inch by inch

In play at little games.