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Sunday, April 05, 2020

Palm Sunday in The Long Lent

About the Image

Pietro Lorenzetti, Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, 1320. Painted 27 years before the peak intensity of the Black Death began. 700 years after Lorenzetti painted this image, it is Palm Sunday in The Long Lent. The very Long Lent. Public domain image, Wikipedia.

* * *

(or, what I've been working on lately)

The Lorenzetti is pilfered from my own facebook site. I'm finding it hard to keep up with current requests for writings, videos (yes, I have finally made some videos of poems from The Book of the Red King, and will make a Charis excerpt as well), and poems--people are finding more time to make extended projects and to ask for contributions, I imagine. Lots of requests for poems, and even a commission to write a pandemic poem, a thing I had promised myself not to make because I disliked so many 9-11 poems. However, dear reader, I did it because I am fond on the editor who asked. Aiee! There's a notable increase in requests from Christian venues, and I find that curious and interesting. Meanwhile, I've been keeping up with a couple of my social media sites better than the blog--mainly because that's where the most interaction with readers happens, these days--and am pleased by some good attentions to Charis in the World of Wonders. In addition, I'm doing some radio interviews for the book launch, something I've never done before, and hoping not to appear as a doofus on the airwaves!

Paul Candler's pandemic project--
lovely to be on the home page,
and so far four of my poems are up.
Forthcoming--a long poem
and the opening of Charis.

Charis in the World of Wonders excerpt at

Clive Hicks-Jenkins on The Art of the Cover,
with a good bit about our collaborations

The Word, and a Virtual Palm Sunday

Want to go to Palm Sunday services with me
in The Village of Cooperstown?
Christ Church Cooperstown
Easy to stay six feet apart...
Feel free to wear your pajamas!

And if you're bookish, which I assume you are (having landed here), you might like to know that novelist James Fenimore Cooper was warden of this church, and that it has had a remarkable number of writers as members--William Wilberforce Lord (the famous poet that Wordsworth praised but Poe derided, and with much vigor), Susan Fenimore Cooper (read Rural Hours! surely influenced Thoreau), Paul Fenimore Cooper, Fae Malania, Ralph Birdsall, and many more...There's also a memorial niche to Constance Fenimore Cooper, friend of Henry James and writer who has been getting a lot of attention lately. James Fenimore Cooper was the one responsible for turning a little village church into a Gothic bandbox after he returned home from Europe.

A sheep in green and flowering pasture for Palm Sunday.
Interior illumination by Clive Hicks-Jenkins
for Charis in the World of Wonders


  1. I opted for watching the 10:00 at St. Matthew's in Washington. The archbishop celebrated, and by my count there were five concelebrants, and five lay persons: signer, cantor, organist, and a couple of altar servers. The cathedral seats about a thousand persons.

    I did not know that Cooper was a churchwarden.

    1. Not only was he warden, but his mark on the church was absolutely transformative--Gothic stone high altar, rood screen, Gothicized windows, faux flying buttresses, cloister walk and chapel etc. all flowed from his enthusiasm for the Gothic. There are three memorial windows to the family--a lovely one to Susan Fenimore Cooper, a very generous philanthropist, showing a woman gifting fruit to children, one to Susan Augusta DeLancey Cooper, and one to James Fenimore Cooper. Fenimore Cooper's window is, appropriately enough to his nature, is a teaching one that explains the nature of the Trinity.

  2. No that won't do. Not wanting to confront The Plague because the 9-11 outpourings were duff. You know exactly why this happened. Amateurs think emotions are sufficient, poets understand the need for transmutation. Strange, but not in the end strange, that those who have this urge "to write" (as if it were no more than floor exercises) yet are satisfied simply to record. With some garnish round the edges.

    It's why I think of myself as a versifier and not a poet. Even if I possessed the necessary instincts, I started far too late. Oh, I have ambitions, don't we all? But it's the execution that matters. I'm presently messing about in IP with the onset of death, only its onset y'unnerstan, not the thing itself. A thing that moves, doesn't stand still.

    ... but death's tide only flows -
    Out of the night and up the rasping beach.
    Hi there, it sighs, I've fatal work to do,

    There's an appeal somewhere. It might even be fun. But where's the conviction? Might it not exist? Nobody in their right mind would ask for my views in front of a microphone. It's only because the space here is free.

    So good luck. Go on being a pro.

    1. Surely a poet is a person who makes solid poems, an artisan of words who respects his materials and predecessors... And I believe you are that.

      Think about somebody like Chidiock Tichborne, and how he is remembered for a single poem... It's hard to lodge even one in the world's memory.

      And you're not the only one who started late...

      I'm not sure anybody should ask for my views either. It's just a thing that happens, and I must muster a bit of good sense. And also not think I have to answer all questions, as they are sometimes a bit, well, silly. Or not understanding how writers work.

      Floor exercises! Garnish! Hah. You are a wit. And that last line from the current poem--a surprise, also witty.


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.