Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Monday, June 13, 2016


Seb Lester calligraphy.
Dove of peace mosaic, 12th century.


  1. Amen! And today I present Yeats (his birthday) and "The Second Coming" (more relevant now) at Solitary Praxis. I fear the "rough beast" is among us and the end is near. I wish I were more hopeful.

    1. Well, Yeats would say that we are at the start of another 2,000-year gyre of history. So let is hope it is not ruled by the rough beast you see among us.

  2. well, a kalpa here or there... (4.3 b yrs) it all turns out the same...

    1. Maybe Yeats's gyres should have been in aeons, then, rather than a mere 2k years!

  3. astoundingly good calligraphy; especially on the sides of buildings! the art of illumination is not dead...

    1. I was looking at some Eric Gill yesterday--and also at some of the work by members of the Master Penman Society. Wonderful to see, and so varied!

  4. You've reminded me of Archbishop Thomas's final sermon in Murder in the Cathedral:

    "Now think for a moment about the meaning of this word 'peace.' Does it seem strange to you that the angels should have announced Peace, when ceaselessly the world has been stricken with War and the fear of War? Does it seem to you that the angelic voices were mistaken, and that the promise was a disappointment and a cheat?

    "Reflect now, how Our Lord Himself spoke of Peace. He said to his disciples, 'My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.' Did he mean peace as we think of it: the kingdom of England at peace with its neighbours, the barons at peace with the King, the householder counting over his peaceful gains, the swept hearth, his best wine for a friend at the table, his wife singing to the children? Those men His disciples knew no such things: they went forth to journey afar, to suffer by land and sea, to know torture, imprisonment, disappointment, to suffer death by martyrdom. What then did He mean? If you ask that, remember then that He said also, 'Not as the world gives, give I unto you.' So then, He gave to his disciples peace, but not peace as the world gives."

    1. And that reminds me in turn of novelist Walker Percy's cousin-once-removed, William Alexander Percy, and his hymn lyric--

      They cast their nets in Galilee
      Just off the hills of brown
      Such happy simple fisherfolk
      Before the Lord came down

      Contented peaceful fishermen
      Before they ever knew
      The peace of God That fill’d their hearts
      Brimful and broke them too.

      Young John who trimmed the flapping sail,
      Homeless, in Patmos died.
      Peter, who hauled the teeming net,
      Head-down was crucified.

      The peace of God, it is no peace,
      But strife closed in the sod,
      Yet, brothers, pray for but one thing–
      The marvelous peace of God.

      I also think of Buechner's difficult Godric!


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.