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Again, A Double Anniversary Today

Three sonnets in honor of the occasion.

On this day, October 9, 1975, I joined the Catholic Church. It was the 130th anniversary of John Henry Newman having joined the Catholic Church, October 9, 1845.

19

Let me be to Thee as the circling bird,
Or bat with tender and air-crisping wings
That shapes in half-light his departing rings,
From both of whom a changeless note is heard.
I have found my music in a common word,
Trying each pleasurable throat that sings
And every praisèd sequence of sweet strings,
And know infallibly which I preferred.
The authentic cadence was discovered late
Which ends those only strains that I approve,
And other science all gone out of date
And minor sweetness scared made mention of:
I have found the dominant of my range and state—
Love, O my God, to call Thee Love and Love.

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
The Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1967) p. 28
ed. W.H. Gardner and N.H. MacKenzie

Providence

Pleading for grace upon a humble knee,
Or angry that our plans are all undone,
How plumb the depths of Wisdom's chartless sea?
How should we know what we should seek or shun?
More than we dare to ask, or think could be,
His love prepares. But it would only stun
To glimpse an arrow of the blinding Sun
Whose light irradiates eternity.

Beyond the imagination's furthest sweep,
Beyond the most audacious dream of pride—
As though with one sole function occupied—
The Father watches while His children sleep,
The Spirit broods upon us from the deep,
The Bridegroom ever yearns toward the bride.

Theodore Maynard (1890-1956)
Collected Poems (1946) p. 167

The Convert

After one moment when I bowed my head
And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white,
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead.

The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.

G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
The Collected Poems of G.K. Chesterton (1932) p. 90

All three poets were converts to the Catholic Church.

See also A Double Anniversary Today, Happy Anniversary to Cardinal Newman! and Happy Anniversary to Me!

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sat. 10/09/04 11:14:36 AM
Categorized as Literary & Religious.

   
         
         

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Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”