Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Child is Father to the Man

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

‘The child is father to the man.’
How can he be? The words are wild.
Suck any sense from that who can:
‘The child is father to the man.’
No; what the poet did write ran,
‘The man is father to the child.’
‘The child is father to the man!’
How can he be? The words are wild.

* * *

Who would've known? Hopkins wrote a triolet too!

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

by William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

* * *

This poem always makes me draw in a long, slow breath, let it out again, and go about my day a little more peaceful than I was before. I think having a dream like this is very healthy, because even if you can't get up and go when you'd like to, there's something about carrying the sound of lake water with you in the heart's core -- even while walking along a busy roadway. It's carrying a little peace with you wherever you go.

On a different note, this blog recently got its first 10,000 hits. When I started out about two years ago, I hoped Enchiridion would be a way to add a little poetry to people's lives and maybe have some nice discussions about poems. Looking back, I think it really turned out that way, and I'm very glad I decided to start it. Of course, I'm not the one making the hits and comments happen -- you are, for visiting my blog and sharing your thoughts in my comment box. Thanks everyone, and a happy Easter season to all of you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fatherly Advice to Newlyweds

Dr. Brian J. Kopp

My advice to the Newlywed?
While you're young, use your head!
Have a baby...
Have a few!
I don't mean one,
or even two.
What about four?
How about eight?
(Making babies is really great!)

Don't worry about braces,
or college, or clothes.
Their every need
God already knows.
Then when you're old,
in time of need,
with no more clamoring mouths to feed,
look to your children
that you (and God) made,
to be your joy,
comfort, and aid.

Your babies today
are your greatest treasure.
You will receive
in the amount you measure.
God's greatest gift
to husband and wife?
A newborn baby.
An eternal life!

* * *

from Amazing Grace for Fathers

(The writer's only attempt at poetry, written on a napkin at a wedding reception.)

Today I did my presentation for apologetics class. It's half my grade, so I was pretty nervous. The topic was a defense against abuses of Natural Family Planning. It's surprising how controversial a topic that really is, even here at Christendom.

I was mainly arguing against the attitude of people who think everyone ought to be using NFP. But I am also concerned about people using it for trifling reasons.

The main point for me is that having children is a Good Thing. And as the poem above says, God can be trusted to work out the details.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Which Church Father are you?

You’re St. Justin Martyr!

You have a positive and hopeful attitude toward the world. You think that nature, history, and even the pagan philosophers were often guided by God in preparation for the Advent of the Christ. You find “seeds of the Word” in unexpected places. You’re patient and willing to explain the faith to unbelievers.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

I think that's about right. I always try and look for truth wherever I can find it -- like in poetry, for example.

But it's one of the great sorrows of my life that I don't know many "unbelievers." Although I guess it's better that those rare, wonderful souls who don't know the word but are ripe for hearing it are entrusted to people who know a little bit more than I do.