Category: Literature and Poetry

Works of poetry and literature, works on poetry and literature — whether they be classical, medieval, Renaissance, baroque, etc. — If they are on this site, they are in this section.

The word “literature” is taken from the Latin word littera, which means “letters,” not as in the alphabet, but as in the words that letters spell. Latin also has the word verbum, which means “word,” not as in the material definition: the four-letter monosyllable, w-o-r-d, but as in the formal definition, what the term means. Verbum, in its formal sense, can be translated as “idea.” When you predicate one idea or concept of another, you have a proposition, or judgment. When man reasons, he is always linking propositions in order to arrive at conclusions. That’s logic, not literature.

Literature is written composition. It is the telling of a story on paper. The story can be either fiction or non-fiction, a novel, history, or drama. Bad writing can never qualify as literature, no matter how moving the story line. Good writing can never qualify as literature if there is no story in the writing, no development of a theme, no touching of the soul, just facts. Scientific writing is not literature, but science fiction certainly can be. Historical composition is not literature, but when the author brings adventure and great events to life, as in an inspiring biography, or a saga, that certainly can be classified as literature — that is, if the writing flows in style and grace.

It is hard to define the word literature. We all know what a well written book is, or a well written article, or essay, but we often differ when it comes to explaining what exactly it is that makes a book “a good read.”

Poetry, on the other hand, is easier to define. There must be meter and rhythm in the composition, and the composition must be divided into lines, verses, and stanzas. Poems do not necessary have to have rhyming verses, but usually they do. Epic poems, on the other hand, all have meter and rhythm, but not all have rhyming verses. A poem is a painting in words. Poesis, the Greek word for poetry, means “something made.” So, in the Greek tradition, poets did not just tell a beautiful story, they built it with the symmetry and harmony of meter and rhythm.

Savoring Reality

This paper was written for a Festschrift in honor of Dr. Robert Hickson. It was intended to be a loving tribute to my superior, teacher, mentor, and friend, Brother Francis Maluf, M.I.C.M. Savoring Reality: An Introduction to the Childlike Catholic Mind … Continue reading

November

My thoughts are now all deathly dark In this November tide. The Holy Souls, so sad and stark, My mercy do betide. They languish all in helplessness No merit them to gain. It would be horrid heartlessness To pity not … Continue reading

Probatica

Dedicated to the healing angel who fixed my rosary the other day. From burning empyrean sphere An angel does leap down, Descends to Bethsaida’s mere And stirs its waters round. The healing angel, Raphael It is we may be sure … Continue reading

Appreciation

This poem is dedicated to judgmental people everywhere.1 Your virtues, they are vices; Your deeds are each a sin. Inside no tad of goodness; Your bright veneer is thin. Your thoughts must all be darksome Your plans self-serving, too. That … Continue reading

UN Consultant Group Aims to Get Dante Banned

Rome A world-renowned work of literature, Dante’s epic poem Divine Comedy, has been described as racist, homophobic, anti-Islamist and anti-Semitic by Gherush 92, a human rights organization that acts as a consultant to United Nations groups. More here.