Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Birthday G. K.!

G. K. Chesterton was born this day in 1874. He was a truly great mind who saw things and thought things in such a unique way that he is referred to as the Prince of Paradox and the Apostle of Common Sense. His book Orthodoxy is often considered his great work. Having read that book, however, I would recommend two other books for the uninitiated. Both books are by Dale Ahlquist and they give the reader an overview of Chesterton, both his beliefs and his life: Common Sense 101: Lessons from G.K. Chesterton and G. K. Chesterton: Apostle of Common Sense.

Here is a little poem by Chesterton that I really enjoy and have used in teaching poetry to my grade 11 academic students:

G.K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

Here are two other related posts from this blog:

Chesterton on Post-modernism

Chesterton on Generalists

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