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Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.” I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

Time to have a little fun with a Star Trek motif. We note in passing that Captain Picard has exquisite taste.

PICARD’S PERENNIALLY PERFECT POTABLE

Some people swear by coffee
As loud as loud can be;
But for the truly civilized,
A cup of Earl Grey tea.

Some long for port or cognac,
White wine or vin rose`;
But far more elegant than these:
A small sip of Earl Grey.

Some swear by Coke or Pepsi,
The Uncola or RC;
But those who really want the best
Request some Earl Grey tea.

And some must have their Perrier;
Some could have had V-8.
But those whose taste is most refined
All think Early Grey is great.

The captain of the Enterprise,
He sails a starry sea;
He asks the Replicator for
A cup of Earl Grey tea.

 

The captain of the Enterprise,
When first he rises up,
He wants the status of the ship
And Earl Grey in his cup.

The captain of the Enterprise
Will always end his day
With a page or two of Shakespeare
And a cup of hot Earl Grey.

The captain of the Enterprise,
He drinks it by the pot.
Unto the Replicator,
He says, “Tea—Earl Grey—hot!”

While too much Saurian Brandy
Or too much Romulan Ale
Can give you trouble, you can drink
Your Earl Grey by the pail.

Yes, some folks swear by coffee
As loud as loud can be.
But for the truly civilized:
A cup of Earl Grey tea.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

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Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

A POLEMIC

On the Origins of Post-Modern Criticism

For David Hume

David Hume

(The radical Empiricism of the Endarkenment entails treating the Good as an abstraction, rejecting Truth for fact, and reducing the Beautiful to a subjective response.  Thus it undercuts the docere of Literature, leaving us only with a truncated diligere.  This epistemology applied to Art can only lead to Aestheticism, which inevitably degenerates into Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, and Deconstruction.  Once the actual Values of the Sages have thus been destroyed, they can now be replaced with Marxism, Feminism, Freudianism, or whatever other Ism we wish to impose on Texts left defenseless by the death of Truth.  To get beyond this impasse, we must abandon the skeptical philosophy that produced it as question-begging Nonsense.)

 

That skeptic, David Hume,

Gained philosophic fame

Committing to the fume

Of metaphoric flame

Whole libraries of pages

By metaphysic sages.

 

Unless it could be measured

By his empiric wit,

It never could be treasured,

And so, away with it!

Mere sophistry, illusion,

Divinity ( ! ), confusion.

 

Augustine and Aquinas,

Isaiah, Moses, Paul,

Nothing but a minus;

Better burn them all:

The penalty for treason

Against enlightened “Reason.”

 

Erasmus, Calvin, Luther,

Dante, Milton, Spenser:

What could be uncouther,

More worthy of a censor?

Life seen through the prism

Of rank empiricism.

 

To keep them as purveyors

Of just imagination

Is but to be betrayers

Of all their conversation:

Dead, white, oppressive pigs

For mere aesthetic prigs.

 

Good critics can’t arise

From bad philosophy.

It should be no surprise

That we have come to be

Despisers of the True—

Of Goodness, Beauty, too.

 

If only what the senses

Can see or smell or feel

Is able to convince us

That it is really real,

How’d the sensation grow

That tells us this is so?

 

We’d really like to know.

Dr. Williams being unimpressed by Hume’s arguments.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

223

Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

 What is the true meaning of the symbolic meal at the heart of their worship that Christians call Communion or The Lord’s Supper?  One way of getting at it is to ponder all the meanings that can be attached to one sentence: “The King of Kings provides the feast.”

THE SUPPER OF THE LAMB

 

Hatred is the hunger fed;

Fear can make the mighty pine.

Plaited briars crush the head;

Splinters grate against the spine.

For the ruler and the priest,

The King of kings provides the feast.

 

Ravenous revenge is sped;

The demons gain their dark design:

Drawn by livid lines of red,

Gnats and flies descend to dine.

For the angel and the beast,

The King of kings provides the feast.

The hands are clenched, the arms are spread,

The knees are twisted out of line;

The blood congeals, the breath is fled,

The body is to dust consigned.

Earth’s appetite has never ceased:

The King of kings provides the feast.

 

The Seed descends into its bed,

Out of sight and out of mind.

The world is turning overhead;

The rain will fall, the sun will shine.

From the grain of corn deceased,

The King of kings provides the feast.

Brought to focus in the bread,

Freely flowing in the wine:

Drawn by living lines they’ve read,

The sinner-saints ascend to dine.

For the greatest and the least,

The King of kings provides the feast.

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

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 Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

Jerusalem from the Old City Wall

The early church father Tertullian famously asked, “Where does Athens meet Jerusalem?”  Athens and Jerusalem were synechdoches for Hellenistic and Hebraic culture, or more specifically, human reason and divine revelation.  Tertullian implied that there was no intersection between the two, an assertion that was true in one sense and profoundly false in another.  It is true that God’s revealed truth is a challenge to fallen human wisdom, not a supplement to it.  But the answers it gives are answers to the same questions all human beings have to ask, answers whose full implications can only be discerned in the light of those questions and of the history of our failed attempts to figure them out on our own, with our rebellious assumptions and premises.  The failure to understand the proper relationship between reason and revelation that Tertullian represents has hindered revelation from shedding the light it was meant to shed: that Light that, coming into the world, needs to enlighten every man.

 

THE HELLENE AND THE HEBREW

Commentary, Rom. 12:1 (KJV)

 

So where does Athens meet Jerusalem?

Tertullian couldn’t find a single place

And thus condemned the blind and groping race

To groping blindness.  Greeks?  Well, as for them,

They asked the Questions brilliantly, but slim

Or none the odds that they would ever trace

The Answers, which the Jew in every case

Possessed; the Questions never occurred to him.

 

Separate, they both remain opaque,

A price we pay for our ancestral treason.

The unexamined life will never find

A Cross between the two is what can make

The sacrifice of self an act of Reason:

To love the Lord your God with all your mind.

Modern Jerusalem from Mount Scopus

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD