Poetry Wednesday: “God’s Grandeur”

Sometimes "religious" poem smacks of over-sentimentality. In that case, this isn't a religious poem. Gerald Manley Hopkins is a master with words, a Victorian poet who reminds us of the "bright wings" of the world. And check out the reading by Stanley Kunitz, another poet. [Note: For some reason I was having difficulty with the …

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El Salvador: Juayua, Ataco, El Principito, and Grace

[I missed a post last week, so this is basically a combination of yesterday's and tomorrow's posts.] Yesterday I went to las cascadas de Juayua with some friends. We're in the rainy season here in El Salvador, but if we wait for ideal conditions in life, we'll sell ourselves woefully short. Thus, we plowed on and …

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Poetry Wednesday: “The Rose that Grew from Concrete” and “In the Event of My Demise”

I claim to know very little about Tupac Shakur, but, in addition to being a legendary rapper, he was an artist and a poet. Despite a hard life, young Tupac was enrolled in various programs where he studied acting, poetry, jazz, and even ballet. He used his words to raise awareness of the harsh realities of …

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A Day in the Life of Your Favorite Book Character (Anodos)

If you could spend a day as your favorite book character, who would it be? I wanted to think outside the box a little bit here and choose a character lesser known than, say, a certain famous hobbit. Then it hit me: Anodos! Anodos is the name of the main character in the Victorian fairy …

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El Salvador: Día de la Independencia y La Naturaleza

I didn't anticipate posting about El Salvador again so soon, but I captured some more great moments that I wanted to share. In El Salvador, Independence Day is September 15th, and this year was the 195th celebration. Despite a turbulent history there is strength, perseverance, and tremendous national pride. My friends (i.e. my second family) …

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Poetry Wednesday: “Death, be not proud”

  John Donne, a 17th century English poet, wrote "Death, be not proud," a sonnet, in 1609. This particular poem was published posthumously along with a group of other poems in a collection known as his Holy Sonnets. These sonnets explore deep religious themes and are thought to have been written in a period of …

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Read This: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

[Here is a piece of advice if you want to be better read and don't know where to start: besides the "canonized" classics (Western AND non-Western), try reading Pulitzer Prize winning fiction or Nobel Prize authors. When I'm looking for new, contemporary fiction and I'm not sure what to read, I've recently been going to …

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Poetry Wednesday: “Do not go gentle into that good night”

Dylan Thomas, a Welsh poet who died in 1953 at the age of 39, wrote (among other significant works) "Do not go gentle into that good night." It is one of my favorite poems and feels truly inspired especially when one considers the strict form it is written in: the Villanelle. Please read and listen …

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