WHY PETRARCH’S “TO ITALY” REMAINS SIGNIFICANT
Since I am neither Italian nor a scholar of Latin beyond what I learned at school, I sometimes ask myself why I should feel moved by and dealing with something close to the heart of poetic inspiration in the case of Petrarch’s Ad Italiam, (To Italy, but sometimes called Petrarch’s Hymn to Italy). More recently too I find a new and relevant symbolic significance attaches to the work..
The mood of the poem is plainly enthusiastic and ecstatic but the total impression is of feeling somehow more engraved, fixed and “absolute” in a way I should wish to class with the very different because elegiac Catullus C1, the celebrated “hail and farewell” poem for the poet’s brother deceased in a far land. It is always possible that Catullus at least indirectly influenced Petrarch, a proto-Renaissance classical scholar who had unique possession of the newly rediscovered work of the Roman poet, but undoubtedly Latin bible Psalms played their part – there is an affinity for…
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CAN ANY GOOD COME OUT OF AMERICAN RELIGION?
The title could seem overstated, even impertinent directed upon such a large phenomenon as a nation’s predominant religion, but especially in its more conservative and evangelical wing American Christianity can itself be remarkably given to the overblown, aggressive or emotionally intrusive statement. Thus it’s not possible for some to maintain Obama has been wrong or misguided about, say, marriage equality, rather it has to be he has blasphemed God! Even for a believer (or even the Pope) to be just concerned with welfare and poverty issues could cause him or her to be judged and dismissed as “a Marxist”.
Because despite everything I believe American Christianity does represent and preserve a few beliefs and ideas in danger of being forgotten or overlooked elsewhere, I shall first define what I mean by “American Christianity” and before pointing to some good things catalogue the real, sometimes major blemishes. This is…
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JESUS AND WABI-SABI
THE MISSING PORTRAIT
What Jesus looked like has been a subject of endless speculation and artistic representation. Almost inexplicably the most popular article I have written for this blog has been Colton Burpo’s “Real” Heaven, Akiane’s Jesus and New Christ Images http://wp.me/p2v96G-lH. I suspect its popularity could be involved with its inclusion of an attempt to make theological sense of certain biblical claims about Jesus’ appearance and go some way to “identikit” a true image of him aided by the true and still working astrology for Jesus I claim to possess.
But something was absent from that exercise because I didn’t know it until recently. And because I believe the heavens do “utter knowledge” as per Ps 19, do tell us the truth and help to reveal real mysteries, I have to add the following to my perception of the subject.
There are many asteroids in the…
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