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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
Speaking of (visual) art: I mentioned that there are some painters whose work I like. At the risk of marking myself as a clod, I will say that Andrew Wyeth is one of them. I can certainly understand that the contemporary art establishment would disparage him. That's all right; I... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Light On Dark Water
AN OLD MAN'S WINTER NIGHT All out-of-doors looked darkly in at him Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars, That gathers on the pane in empty rooms. What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand. What kept him from... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Light On Dark Water
I had a very strange experience last Friday night. Does everyone have the problem I have with "last" and "next" in this context? Today is Sunday. Does "last Friday" mean the day before yesterday, or a week before the day before yesterday? Similarly for "next." Anyway, I mean June 1,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
THE PROPHET (translated by Maurice Baring) With fainting soul athirst for Grace, I wandered in a desert place, And at the crossing of the ways I saw the sixfold Seraph blaze: He touched mine eyes with fingers light As sleep that cometh in the night: And like a frighted eagle’s... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
Impelled by conversations with a local friend and by Craig Burell's review, I decided to read Ross Douthat's To Change the Church, his assessment of the controversies surrounding Pope Francis. I hadn't wanted to; I explained why in this post a few weeks ago, so I won't repeat myself. I've... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond any experience, your eyes have their silence: in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me, or which i cannot touch because they are too near your slightest look easily will unclose me though i have closed myself as fingers, you open... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
Having been immersed in the world of medieval Scandinavia for a couple of weeks while reading The Master of Hestviken, I wanted to get more acquainted with its mythology. I knew the main figures and one or two stories, but had never read anything very systematic or complete. So I... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
Now, when you've read this poem, before you say or think "Why did he post this miserable depressing little poem?!?" read my comments following it. * HOME IS SO SAD Home is so sad. It stays as it was left, Shaped to the comfort of the last to go As... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
[Update: the first part of this post attracted some hostile attention on Facebook. It was taken as intending to disparage and dismiss concerns about the mistreatment of women by men. That was most certainly not my intention. I was about to say "Needless to say..." but clearly it's not needless,... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
The collection of Phyllis McGinley's work called Times Three is organized by decade. This poem is from the "The Forties." * BALLAD OF FINE DAYS "Temperatures have soared to almost summer levels...making conditions ideal for bombing offensives." --Excerpt from B.B.C. news broadcast All in the summery weather, To east and... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
"The Murray project is dead." I saw that statement somewhere on Facebook some time ago, and I can't remember who said it, or I would give him or her credit. It struck me, though, and, obviously, stayed with me. The reference is to John Courtney Murray, S.J., whom I have... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
AS ONE LISTENS TO THE RAIN Listen to me as one listens to the rain, not attentive, not distracted, light footsteps, thin drizzle, water that is air, air that is time, the day is still leaving, the night has yet to arrive, figurations of mist at the turn of the... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
I would prefer to think that a more accurate title for Patrick Deneen's Why Liberalism Failed would have been Why Liberalism Is Failing. That it is failing seems clear. It's a Carnival Cruise liner heading for the rocks while the drunken captain tries to seduce a passenger, a 747 with... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
My first introduction to the poem I am writing about was in a novel I was reading about 30 years ago. An artist was talking to a young woman about poems that are pictures. The first poem was The Lady of Shalott, and then he quoted a more recent poem.... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
I had planned to write about something else tonight, but last night I watched the last two episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return, and for the moment am obsessed with it. I can't remember whether anyone who comments here besides Rob G is a fan and would care, and I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
TO CHARLES WILLIAMS Your death blows a strange bugle call, friend, and all is hard To see plainly or record truly. The new light imposes change, Re-adjusts all a life-landscape as it thrusts down its probe from the sky, To create shadows, to reveal waters, to erect hills and deepen... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
It seems I'm not the only person who thinks the most noticeable thing about Twitter is the amount and level of venom it seems to produce, very often in combination with stupidity. I freely admit that this is unfair on my part, because I'm not on Twitter, and so all... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
TypePad is doing more hardware and software upgrades tonight beginning at 8pm Central Time (the email says CST but it's probably CDT). They don't say how long they expect it to last but I assume a few hours or so. I gather they won't necessarily be offline during the whole... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
The time may not be very far away when this poem will need a footnote explaining that the speaker is reading a "newspaper," and how they worked. The New York World-Telegram was a daily that ran from 1867 until 1966, and is probably the paper referred to here. The poem... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2018 at Light On Dark Water
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 Apr 16, 2018 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 Apr 12, 2018 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