Showing posts from January, 2021

“As Kingfishers Catch Fire”

  Zaklog the Great invited me back again to share poetry with him and his friend Travis. This time we talked about the layers of meaning in Gerard Manley Hopkins ’s magnificent “ As Kingfishers Catch Fire ”: As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;  As tumbled over rim in roundy wells  Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s  Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;  Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:  Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;  Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,  Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came .  I say móre: the just man justices;  Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;  Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is —  Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,  Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his  To the Father through the features of men's faces.  We talk about the role of poetry in education, why poetry is typically so badly taught, how to learn to wri

“My Apologies, Mr. Shaman”

A Reader emails me concerning my reflections on “ The Sacredest Place ”:  After your latest release, your blog may become known as “The Writings of the Purple Sage” (apologies to Zane Grey). Did I detect some prophesizing therein? Maybe I projected. In any case, I was moved to thank you for correcting my assumptions about the Shaman who entered the Capitol. In my arrogant social scientist manner, I had decided early on that he was the craziest of the bunch—not someone I had anything in common with. I read too much into his horny headgear and tricolor face—especially as displayed in the photo of his full-throated moon-baying. All this despite my conviction that many of those involved in the Capitol incursion were bewildered quasi-provincials who were surprised to find themselves in the Holy of Holies, that is, there , and didn’t know quite what to do once inside. Hence, the feet of one on the desk of Nancy Pelosi (can you think of anything symbolically more democratic?) and his purloini

The Energizer Bernie

In the midst of the pageantry sat a man, wearing mittens... And just like that, he was everywhere. The rest is memestry. Having trouble parsing the symbolism?  Recommended reading:  Battery Life The Sacredest Place Tyrian Purple   Sample class with Milo on Yeats’s “The Second Coming”: A Poetry Class for the End of the World . For advanced training in the poetics of the draconian imagination, visit the Dragon Common Room . Tea and poetry weekdays at 6pmCST!  Extended syllabus at  Dragon’s Keep . GOD BLESS THE INTERNET,  WHERE THE RIDE NEVER ENDS! And the memes kept pouring in... Last updated January 29, 2021, 10:53amCST