Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'poetry'

John Milton’s Anthropology of Liberty

Today’s edition of Prufrock (subscribe here!) notes the forthcoming release of Paul Hammond, Milton and the People (Oxford, July 29): Who are ‘the people’ in Milton’s writing? They figure prominently in his texts from early youth to late maturity, in his poetry and in his prose works; they are invoked as the sovereign power in the state and have the right to overthrow tyrants; they are also, as God’s chosen people, the guardians of the true Protestant path against those who would corrupt or destroy the Reformation. Continue Reading...

The Camel’s Hump: Rudyard Kipling on Idleness and Hard Work

The other night, I sat down with my kids to read one of my favorite Rudyard Kipling poems, “The Camel’s Hump,” a remarkable 19th-century takedown of 21st-century couch-potato culture. With typical color and wit, Kipling takes aim at idleness, decrying “the hump we get from having too little to do” — “the hump that is black and blue.” Kipling proceeds to elevate labor, noting that hard work refreshes the soul and reinvigorates the spirit: “The cure for this ill is not to sit still / Or frowst with a book by the fire / But to take a large hoe and a shovel also / And dig till you gently perspire.” The illustrations in my 1949 version of the poem offer additional flair to Kipling’s contrast, aptly showing what can happen, physically and spiritually, if we do or don’t get our hands dirty. Continue Reading...

Why Christians in Business Should Read Poetry

Writing for the Harvard Business Review, my friend (and coauthor) John Coleman argues that business professionals can benefit from reading poetry. While his article is not directed at people of faith, I think his claims are particularly relevant to Christians in the business world: Poetry can also help users develop a more acute sense of empathy. Continue Reading...

‘If there are people for whom to be Christian words alone would not suffice’

Comparing artists is about as helpful as comparing beer or theologians; it often simply comes down to a matter of taste. However, just as with theologians, there are new insights to be gained from artists, even if they don’t turn out to be our favorite (I suppose the same holds with beer, as well.) Robert Royal, in an article for the Catholic Education Resource Center, poses the question of whether or not French poet Paul Claudel might be the best modern Catholic poet ever. Continue Reading...

Secular Waste Lands and Hollow Men

Joseph Epstein’s essay, “T.S. Eliot and the Demise of the Literary Culture,” in the November issue of Commentary, strengthens the case for The Waste Land author’s enduring legacy. Epstein captures the high points of Eliot’s biographical and literary accomplishments in only eight pages – an admirable feat given the extent of Eliot’s influence on the past century. Continue Reading...

Poetic Justice

On an episode of NPR’s Talk of the Nation last month, professor Jay Parini of Middlebury College discussed his role in the criminal justice sentences given to students who were involved in the vandalism of the former summer home of renowned poet Robert Frost. Continue Reading...