Archives For Love

 

Rumi-Statue

Tomorrow (Dec. 17) marks the anniversary of the death of the Sufi poet Rumi.

Here are five of our favorite poems by him…

I AM THINE AND THOU ART MINE
Rumi
(trans. by R.A. Nicholson)

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When We are Ready to Love
Rather Than to Be Loved

 
A Feature Review of 

The Course of Love: A Novel
Alain de Botton

Hardback: Simon & Schuster, 2016.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  

 
 
Reviewed by Alden Bass
 
 
 
This is not Alain de Botton’s first attempt to write a book about love. Twenty years ago he wrote his debut novel Essays in Love, a story about a boy and a girl who meet on a plane and – you guessed it – fall in love. An essay is an attempt, a beginning, and in this more mature reflection on love de Botton determines to see love through to its end. Along the way, he speculates on what precisely is the end of love in a series of philosophical narratorial asides.

Rather unromantically, The Course of Love is a story about marriage. Specifically, two very average Edinburghers named Rabih and Kirsten who date, get engaged, marry, settle down, have kids, have affairs, and go to counseling. Their marriage is the Everymarriage. Which is precisely the kind of story de Botton needs to develop his thesis. (Yes, this is a novel with a thesis.) Namely, love is a sort of existential rootedness, a sense of security and familiarity which grounds one to love and serve others.

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Reordering Our Loves

 
A Feature Review of
 

You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit
James K.A. Smith

Hardback: Brazos Press, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Jeff Crosby
 
 

Most of us have heard the aphorisms since childhood from parents, pastors or other well-intentioned people concerned for our welfare and trying to ensure we find a productive, healthy place in the world:

“You are what you eat.” (So be sure to eat that broccoli!)

“You are what you think.” (So be careful what books you read and songs you listen to!)

“You are what you speak.” (So be certain to control your tongue and if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!”)

Or if you grew up around a fan of the music of Frank Zappa, you might have heard: “You are what you is!” (“And that’s all it ‘tis.”)

Calvin College professor of philosophy James K.A. Smith begs to differ just a bit with our parents about eating, our pastors about thinking, our teachers about speaking, and even the inimitable Zappa about whatever esoteric truth he was articulating in his 1981 recording that still garners a cult following more than three decades later.

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Augustinus

 

Today is the Feast of St. Augustine.  

In honor of the occasion, here are three poems by the saint from Hippo.

*** You might also enjoy Longfellow’s poem
The Ladder of St. Augustine.

In Praise of Dancing
St. Augustine

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William_Shakespeare

Yesterday (April 23) marked the birthday of William Shakespeare…
 
Here are a few of our favorite of his sonnets:

Download The Complete Series of Shakespeare’s Sonnets as a FREE ebook: For Kindle | A variety of other formats

 

Sonnet 147
William Shakespeare

My love is as a fever longing still,
For that which longer nurseth the disease,
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
Th’ uncertain sickly appetite to please:
My reason the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve,
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest,
My thoughts and my discourse as mad men’s are,
At random from the truth vainly expressed.
For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

NEXT POEM >>>>>

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Springtime_by_Pierre-August_Cot

Here are a few of our favorite love poems for Valentine’s Day:

All of these poems can be found in
Great Love Poems (Dover Thrift Editions)

(a 99c Bargain Kindle ebook!)

 

How Do I Love Thee?
(Sonnet 43)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

 

NEXT POEM >>>>>

IMAGE CREDIT: Springtime by Pierre-August Cot
(via Wikimedia Commons)

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The conscience of an artist worthy of the name is like an incurable disease which causes him endless torment but occasionally fills him with silent joy.”
– Georges Rouault, painter,
who died on this date, 1958
 

The Wake Up Call

Poem of the Day:
I Have Hunger for Your Mouth
A Love Sonnet by Pablo Neruda

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*** Four Love Sonnets
by Pablo Neruda

 
 
 
Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day:
Great Love Poems (Dover Thrift Edition)

Only 99c!!!
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*** NOTE: This stated price is for the United States. Unfortunately, this offer may or may not be available in other countries. Sorry!
 
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The Wake Up Call – February 13, 2015

 

Love and Death

Cave Art: Poems

Charles Hughes

Paperback: Wiseblood, 2014
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

 

Review by Michial Farmer

 

In the title poem of Cave Art, Charles Hughes’s excellent first collection, he ruminates on the ancient paintings in Lascaux, miraculous surviving the millennia:

 

Inside the caves,

The painters left, in vain, what more they saw—

Stark, dazzling life that tugged them in and in

And still survives as art and evidence.

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Pablo Neruda

For Valentine’s Day…

Four Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda from the collection:

100 Love Sonnets

Paperback: U of Texas Press, 1986
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Books by Neruda

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Bill Mallonee

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I give you one of my favorite songs…
A song about love… and baseball (and the sorts of gifts and passions we have that give shape to our lives)

This song has been recorded in several different places, but this live version from 2000 is one of my favorites:

https://archive.org/download/Vol2000-04-14/DiscTwo%2Fvol2000-04-14d02t13_vbr.mp3

ALSO, for a limited time…
Bill is giving away a free MP3 of a different recording of this song

The song also appears on his 2002 album Fetal Position…
[Listen and Download here]

Bill Mallonee:
Paste Music Magazine, in a poll conducted by both writers and artists, listed Bill Mallonee as 65 in their “100 Greatest Living Songwriters Poll.” “At the end of the day, it’s about the story living under your own skin. In my work, I’ve just tried to chase that story down and put something of a frame around it for a spell.” Mallonee, (pronounced MAL-O-KNEE) the lyrical and musical source behind the late Vigilantes of Love, started playing music in Athens in the late 80’s. Bill’s deeper love for music and lyricism of artists like Dylan and Neil Young left an indelible mark on his writing and vocal delivery. “Being a son of the South, it’s hard not to be surrounded by the beauty of things fractured and incongruous…that’s the stuff of real songs… What came out was my own version of what I deeply loved in the work of those two.” [Dylan and Neil Young]

Read my review of Bill Mallonee’s
recent Jack Kerouac-themed album

You Give it all your Heart…

Lyrics:

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