Friday, November 05, 2010

Excerpt of Poem by Maxine Kumin

Milledgeville, Ga., 1988

...but first, an historic detour just this side
of what the local intelligentsia
in fond self-deprecation call Mudville
to take the cart track up to Andalusia,
the family seat, a serene remove from town,
as in a good Victorian novel.

Here, from the first-floor bedroom window
even on those last dark days, she could see
her beloved peacocks pecking and fanning,
the tribe of philoprogenitive donkeys
ambling down to the farm pond in the meadow,
a grove of ancient pecan trees bending
to be picked. Not antebellum grand,
but commodious Andalusia, with real gardens
harrowed every spring with real manure,
so that it's touching but not surprising that
when Mary McCarthy remarked, years before,
she had come to think of the Eucharist as a symbol,
O'Connor, considerably put out
by lapsed Catholic rhetoric, flared,
"Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it."

Not as I pictured her, enthroned
on high, fiercely Promethean
with eagles, say, or lions on the headstone --
but the square, unlandscaped family plot
sans even a drooping willow seems right.
Aligned with her father, three great-aunts opposite,
space for the mother who outlives her yet,
Flannery lies unadorned except by name
who breathed in fire and fed us on the flame.

[from Looking for Luck: Poems (W. W. Norton & Company, 1992), pp. 45-47]

Friday, October 08, 2010

Grace and Sentiment

Our age not only does not have a very sharp eye for the almost imperceptible intrusions of grace, it no longer has much feeling for the nature of the violences which precede and follow them.
— Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose

* * *

To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness. - Inside Catholic link

Monday, July 12, 2010

From Mystery and Manners

People without hope not only don't write novels...they don't read
them. They don't take long looks at anything...

— via Ignatius Insight twitter feed

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

From Letter 3/10/56....

When we think about the Crucifixition, we miss the point if we don't think about sin.     [Found here.]

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Only if we are secure in our beliefs can we see the comical side of the universe.