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Nihilism for the Ironhearted

When a man proclaims nature malignant in all its parts and professes to hate life itself, one’s first suspicion is that something is profoundly wrong with him. The man’s grievance against creation must be the effect of some personal deficiency in body or soul or both, rather than a sound . . . . Continue Reading »

God of the Gold and Purple finches

Finches at all my feeders flash and bickerin ritual consternation and all weather,jangle at me with never-ending want,need me compliant but omnipotent.Within the nearby pine, push comes to shoveas the shrill chorus nags me, makes me leavethe cool deck and my chair and drink and bookto fetch seed . . . . Continue Reading »

O Light Exalted

Dante’s understanding of the heavens—as spheres rotating around the Earth—has been out of date astronomically for nearly half a millennium. Dante’s political world consisted of a score of perpetually warring Italian city states and a few greedy, scheming popes. His intellectual . . . . Continue Reading »

As It Turns Out

Give me, I thought, a stand of tilted pinesguarding white water hurtling into mist.Give me a steep-cut torrent over stones,trout-bright, clear and fast. Or better, I wished, give me the reckless reachof a winter sea, heaved by moon and wind,salt-sweet mayhem roaring across a beach’sapron of . . . . Continue Reading »

Saint Lucy

She is already what she will become.In crimson cape, her neck pierced by a sword,she holds the palm of peace and martyrdom— both suffering and glory, her reward. The striking textile pattern, a rosette, recurs in hues of amethyst and jade, suggesting jewels, perhaps an amulet for Christians. . . . . Continue Reading »

Fray Luis De León: Dizain

Here is the place envy and lies Pent me behind a prison gate. Oh, happy is the humble state Of that wise man so sage he flies This wicked world that’s filled with hate, And with his humble home and board In some delightful country spot, His one companion there the Lord, Lives out his life alone, . . . . Continue Reading »

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