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Maclin Horton
Fairhope, Alabama [email: my first name followed by a period followed by my last name at]
Victor Hugo said "50 is the youth of old age." Now it's 60, I think.
Interests: music, literature, film, politics., catholic spirituality and doctrine
Recent Activity
On Friday I finished reading The Master of Hestviken. On Saturday I had a conversation via text messages with a friend who had just finished Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy. He asked whether I had any recommendation as to what to read next. I replied, "At the moment I don't... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Light On Dark Water
This is not one of my favorite poems. So why am I writing about it? Because it contains one bit, one clause of a sentence, that I think of at least once a week, possibly more often than that. The "land agitation" in the title was a series of efforts... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Light On Dark Water
Still thinking about the gun control question: I've had trouble articulating even to myself my reasons for thinking that a definitive repudiation of the right to keep and bear arms--i.e., repeal of the 2nd Amendment--would represent a major change in the culture and the self-understanding of this country, and even... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
THERE NEVER WAS TIME I wish, he said, the years would linger And fly less fast to make me old; My face is a mask that time’s swift finger Models, moulding wrinkle and fold In sagging flesh youth fashioned true To the ageless image engraved on brass, Of a young... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
Easter Sunday When I was twelve years old, an aunt and uncle gave me two books for Christmas, both part of a series or set called The Looking Glass Library. These were The Haunted Looking Glass and The Looking Glass Book of Verse. The first was a collection of classic... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
I came across this poem because the high school literature discussion that my wife and I run was reading The Hunchback of Notre Dame (otherwise known as Notre-Dame du Paris). I wanted to find some Hugo poem and this one caught my fancy. It is very romantic, with a wistful... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
Today begins Holy Week, for Western Christians, anyway...actually I'm not sure how many Protestants use the term--I don't remember hearing it when I was growing up. Instead of rattling on about what I'm reading and current events and such, I'm just going to post a few remarks from Simone Weil.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
LITTLE ORPHANT ANNIE Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay, An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away, An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep, An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep; An’... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
I said last week that the big contemporary corporate or government employer is "not meant to produce free citizens. And it doesn't want them." Later I started thinking about how different our biggest corporations--Google and the like--are from their counterparts of thirty or forty or fifty years ago, and yet... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
NOTE TO J. ALFRED PRUFROCK I just dared to eat a really big peach as ripe as it could be and I have on a pair of plaid shorts and a blue tee shirt with a hole in it and little rivers of juice are now running down my chin... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
After posting Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" a couple of weeks ago, I found myself remembering other bits and pieces of his poetry, so I got out a couple of old textbooks and went looking for them. Principal among these fragments was this, which used to be widely quoted: Wandering between... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
LE ROI S’AMUSE Jove gazed On woven mazes Of patterned movement as the atoms whirled. His glance turned Into dancing, burning Colour-gods who rushed upon that sullen world, Waking, re-making, exalting it anew – Silver and purple, shrill-voiced yellow, turgid crimson, and virgin blue. Jove stared On overbearing And aching... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
The world is changing. Those words recur several times in The Lord of the Rings, and they keep recurring to me about these times and this country, and in particular over the past few weeks about the gun control debate. It seems to me that a slow transformation in the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
DEUS, EGO AMO TE O God, I love thee, I love thee--- Not out of hope of heaven for me Nor fearing not to love and be In the everlasting burning. Thou, thou, my Jesus, after me Didst reach thine arms out dying, For my sake sufferedst nails and lance,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
Billy Graham's brand of Christianity was not mine; it never has been. Even apart from the vast doctrinal distance between his evangelical Protestantism and my Catholicism, simply as a matter of what you might call style or culture, it was not for me. There was a time when I more... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
I consider this to be one of the major lyric poems of the 19th century. A lot of people would agree with me. If I had continued my literature studies many years ago, I would have specialized in the Victorians. They understood the crisis that was coming upon our civilization... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
I seriously considered not going to Mass on Ash Wednesday. In fact I came pretty close to not going. My reason was partly that I just didn't want to bother, and was possessive of the time involved, because I had some other things I wanted to do that day. But... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
I meant to mention: formatting poetry for the web can be a problem if the poem's format is very irregular or unusual. Simple line and stanza breaks are no problem. They do require some manual editing on my part, because when you force a line break in your word processing... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
Some believe the slumber Of trees is in December When timber’s naked under sky And squirrel keeps his chamber. But I believe their fibres Awake to life and labour When turbulence comes roaring up The land in loud October, And plunders, strips, and sunders And sends the leaves to wander... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
I've listened to Beauty Will Save the World (the album by The Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus), several times now, and I like it a great deal. It may not be everyone's cup of tea. It's certainly not a pop music album in any sense. The description I quoted... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
When I came across this poem by Denise Levertov (1923–1997), I was surprised because I’d assumed her work was only on secular themes. I didn’t know she’d become a Catholic late in her life and that she’d written poems about her faith. The Servant-Girl At Emmaus (A Painting by Velázquez)... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
You can change your opinions, even your most deeply held beliefs, but you can't change your basic personality. I was thinking about that the other day as I read one of Rod Dreher's columns. As you know if you read him much, he has a tendency to view current events... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
Edna St. Vincent Millay was one of the poets I was introduced to in high school. I remember my English teacher talking about how her poem “Renassance” won recognition in a literary contest when she was just nineteen, and that many were astounded that a nineteen year old could have... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
This is a guest post from Rob Grano. You are unlikely to have heard of this group, or heard this song, unless you’ve watched early episodes of the TV show Justified, in one episode of which this song was played over the closing sequence. I liked it very much, but... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
When I was young--not just younger than I am now, but actually young, around twenty or so--I placed something close to a moral value on aesthetic judgment. That is, if someone had what I deemed to be incorrect aesthetic judgment, I considered it a personal defect. If not an actual... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2018 at Light On Dark Water