Wednesday, October 31

I listened to Garrison Kiellor's 'Writer's Almanac' this morning and it inspired me.

He noted that today is John Keats' birthday. SELECTED POETRY OF JOHN KEATS (1795-1821).

And, since everyone needs more poetry, here's a particular selection, seasonally appropriate, and ode to my favorite season. (Incidentally, we did an AP practice essay on this poem in high school and I got marked down because I didn't write about how autumn can be compared to aging people. Maybe he was thinking about that, since he died young of TB, like his mother and sister before him. Oh well, it's still a great poem.)


TO AUTUMN

1 Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
2 Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
3 Conspiring with him how to load and bless
4 With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
5 To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
6 And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
7 To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
8 With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
9 And still more, later flowers for the bees,
10 Until they think warm days will never cease,
11 For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

12 Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
13 Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
14 Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
15 Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
16 Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
17 Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
18 Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
19 And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
20 Steady thy laden head across a brook;
21 Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
22 Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

23 Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
24 Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,--
25 While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
26 And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
27 Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
28 Among the river sallows, borne aloft
29 Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
30 And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
31 Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
32 The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
33 And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


Today is also Reformation Day, the anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church in 1517. He was largely criticizing the practice of selling indulgences. He didn't intend to split with the church. He left room for the Pope to slip out of the indulgences corruption. But the Pope didn't, and the split eventually came.

The first thesis:

Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.

I think he was right. Repentance is not something we do once or 3000 times as much as it is how we are to live before God. Another way to describe this is humility.


Finally, Kiellor read WH Auden's Musée des Beaux Arts. Wonderful. The thing I like about Auden is that he uses normal language and events and lives, but still talks about important ideas, interacting with art like, in this case, 'Brueghel’s Icarus'.
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