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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.”

The original Fundamentalists were so known for their defense of the “Fundamentals” of the Christian faith.  They needed defending (and still do).  Some of their defenders even embodied them.  Others sadly defended the truth about Christ in a decidedly un-Christlike manner, and they bequeathed their reputation to the movement and the the connotations attaching to its name.  If only we could recapture what was right about fundamentalism without bringing along the unfortunate baggage they added!  Could this sonnet be a start?

J. Gresham Machen–a Fundamentalist who avoided the movement’s pitfalls

THE RISE AND FALL OF PROTESTANT FUNDAMENTALISM

Christ’s virgin birth, His deity, His cross,

His Word, His resurrection, His return:

Could these be given up without the loss

Of Christian faith itself?  was the concern

Of those first known as “Fundamentalist.”

If their descendants’ words have proved uncouth

As if their mind had closed up like a fist,

At least they started caring for the Truth.

It’s one of mankind’s greatest tragedies

Beyond the power of the tongue to tell,

This hardening of mental arteries

Within a movement that began so well.

What they forgot should be like hand in glove:

Truth is not Truth unless we speak in love.

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 books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019)!  Order from the publisher or Amazon.

285

 

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.”

When we think of the Arthurian legend, we are reminded that a love affair can go horribly wrong: Lancelot and Guinnevere.  But it also shows us what it looks like when one goes very right.

CLIGES TO PHENICE

Beloved, gaze in thine own cloistered heart.

A secret Garden has been planted there

Of Nature’s growth refined by subtle Art

Where nothing thrives but what is sweet and fair.

 

And yet the sweetest and most wondrous places

Are buried deep.  Thick hedges and high walls

Protect them from the coarse, intruding faces,

Far from the mocking laughter that appalls.

 

Yet once a lonely knight came wandering there,

Let in by some mysterious Grace, to roam

The most secluded paths.  And in its air,

He breathed the long forgotten scent of Home.

 

So, Lady, seek in thine own cloistered heart

The secret Garden thou hast tended.  There

Now dwells the Knight who lives to take thy part,

Who never more will leave that land most fair.

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 books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016), An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018), and The Young Christian’s Survival Guide: Common Questions Young Christians Are Asked about God, the Bible, and the Christian Faith Answered (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2019)!  Order from the publisher or Amazon.

269

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.”

Arthur’s kingdom fell because Lancelot and Guinnevere did not make the choices I imagine for them in this poem. We can choose integrity over passion, faithfulness over desire. Will we? They tragically did not.

LANCELOT AND GUINNEVERE: HOW IT OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN
(Taliessin Indulgeth in Wishful Thinking)

Two minds and hearts amazingly akin:
Begot by Chastity upon Desire,
They burned with both divine and earthly fire.
Matured already e’er it could begin,
It seemed their love had simply always been.
But it had not. They found themselves with prior
Loyalties that asked to be held higher,
But loved each other as they hated sin.

Nothing could turn their fire into ice;
Their sacred vows they’d not consent to break.
“I will not rate thee at a lower price,”
He said, “Nor thee nor virtue will forsake,
And this must be my costly sacrifice.”
There really was no other choice to make.

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 books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016) and “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018)! Order from the publisher or Amazon.

266

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.”

SCENE

The rain comes driving, slanting through the mist.

The trees and sky, a blur of grey and green:

Impressionistic brush-strokes on the screen

By a Chinese artisan with dancing wrist.

And there, beneath a sheltering tree, the tryst.

Oblivious to the weather, they are keen

On what from words and glances one may glean:

She lifts her face up to her knight, is kissed.

 

The raindrop and the teardrop on the cheek

Are mingled, flowing in the self-same track.

And are they tears of joy?  The sky is bleak.

It seems their kiss has sealed a solemn pact:

He lifts her to his steed; away they streak;

They fade into the mist, do not look back.

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 books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016) and “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018)!  Order from the publisher or Amazon.

258

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.”

 Understanding is better than ignorance.  But, no, in this case it does not help.

SPRING METAPHOR

The breeze, a fickle partner in the dance,

Proceeds from leaf to leaf:  “May I cut in?”

He whirls them ‘round, ‘til, giddy with romance,

He then moves on to where he has not been.

The leaves, left fluttering like human hearts,

Return but slowly to serenity,

Whereon another suitor’s airy arts

Stir them again to hope, most cruelly.

They’ll have no lasting peace until they lie

Beneath a blanket of the bitter snow,

For, dallying thus, then lightly passing by,

The teasing breezes never cease to blow.

But men have minds to understand their lot.

You’d think that it would help, but it does not.

Donald T. Williams, PhD

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 books: Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Baltimore: Square Halo Books, 2016) and “An Encouraging Thought”: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of L. R. R. Tolkien (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2018)! Order from the publisher or Amazon.