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April Poetry Dare | Day 23: “The Man That Hath No Music” by William Shakespeare

April is National Poetry Month, to celebrate, Tweetspeak is offering a Poetry Dare, in which participants are asked to read a poem a day for the month of April. Post daily to your blog or favorite social media platform what poem you read. You can find poems at websites like Poetry Foundation, or in books like One Hundred and One Famous Poems.

Today I read:

“The Man That Hath No Music” by William Shakespeare

This poem is actually made up of lines from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, but work so well together as a standalone poem, I thought I’d share.

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Review: The Triads

The TriadsThe Triads by Gregory Palamas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve got to admit I understood much less of this than I’d like to admit. Yet, I was moved by it at various points. I enjoyed reading how a Church Father would interact, apologetically, with someone whose theology was suspect. So, to that extent, the book was helpful for understanding the apologetic approach Gregory took with Barlaam.

It was also helpful to read more about the hesychasts and what they were doing. Barlaam seems to take liberty with Dionysius and that liberty leads to him confusing who God is. Gregory, on the other hand, is essentially arguing that “The living God is accessible to personal experience, because He shared His own life with humanity” (John Meyendorff, pg. 1).

It seems The Triads are more important today than we tend to think–all the more reason I need to wrestle through it again and improve my understanding of Palamas’s work. I don’t know how prevalent a discussion it is, but I know that I’ve encountered Christians who think that prayer (the kind the hesychasts engage in) is silly, superstitious, and too subjective. Yet, as St. Gregory argues, the kind of encounter the hesychasts have experienced is the kind of encounter that God offers to man, first and foremost at Mt. Tabor with the Transfiguration.

Prayer. It’s something I need to be better at, and something that St. Gregory has pushed me toward for sure, hence the five stars.

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sea

April Poetry Dare | Day 22: “Sea Fever” by John Masefield

April is National Poetry Month, to celebrate, Tweetspeak is offering a Poetry Dare, in which participants are asked to read a poem a day for the month of April. Post daily to your blog or favorite social media platform what poem you read. You can find poems at websites like Poetry Foundation, or in books like One Hundred and One Famous Poems.

Today I read:

“Sea Fever” by John Masefield

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john-milton

April Poetry Dare | Day 21: “Sonnet on His Blindness” by John Milton

April is National Poetry Month, to celebrate, Tweetspeak is offering a Poetry Dare, in which participants are asked to read a poem a day for the month of April. Post daily to your blog or favorite social media platform what poem you read. You can find poems at websites like Poetry Foundation, or in books like One Hundred and One Famous Poems.

Today I read:

“Sonnet on His Blindness” by John Milton

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Review: Into the Wild

Into the WildInto the Wild by Jon Krakauer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As I write this review, I’m wondering what effect listening to a book (which I did for this one) has compared to reading it. Do I find books more enjoyable to listen to than I would if I’d read it? If my question is answered in the affirmative, I may be rating a book with four stars that I might otherwise rate with three. I just don’t know.

There were a few things I really like about the book.

One, the author had, prior to writing this, written an article that was widely read about Chris McCandless, from which many readers concluded that McCandless was a reckless, ignorant, and arrogant young man. In his research for this book, he found that he had reported many things in error that misrepresented McCandless. To that end, this book serves to correct those misconceptions and paint McCandless in the light he deserves. I applaud that effort.

Krakauer also tells the story of several others, including himself, who had gone “into the wild” like McCandless–some survived, some also lost their life–and these stories help to paint a picture in the reader’s (listener’s) mind that encourages understanding of McCandless (and maybe even similar drives in one’s self).

It’s no spoiler, as the book’s description tells you in advance what happened to McCandless, but the book is sad. McCandless strove so hard to find purpose and meaning for his life, purpose and meaning that he was leaving behind with every move. He so badly wanted to define his life by a struggle with the wild, when he was finding it (or could have been) in every relationship he had throughout his journey. It is so strange that a young man who so easily made friends and loved and was loved by people, could not see in those people the meaning he was desperately craving. For me, the book worked as an anti-Call of the Wild. And I appreciate the book for that.

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