I read another reviewer who labeled this perhaps the most important book Wilson has written, and I am more than happy to throw my support behind such high praise.
I am an ardent fan of Wilson’s and have read several of his books; Empires of Dirt, however, is one of the greatest, timeliest, and most extraordinary of his expressions to date. His grasp of America’s present ills is sure, and his biblical, postmillennial, optimistic vision of mere Christendom a delicious remedy.
Wilson argues for the engagement of all Christians in reclaiming the world for King Jesus, affirming that, as I once heard Wilson quip, if Christ is not Lord of all, then He is not Lord at all.
This book is simply magnificent, though if you are new to Wilson’s style, I would recommend you start with Angels in the Architecture or Rules for Reformers first.
To expand on the poetry I have published here over the last year or so, I thought it would be fun to record readings of some of my favorite pieces from The Cardinal Turns the Corneras well as to introduce newer pieces I have written.
In addition to these readings, I’d like to provide some commentary, background, and/or explanatory notes that situate each poem in whatever experience, memory, or mood inspired it. No writer writes in a vacuum; we are always influenced by something (usually a thousand somethings). 🙂 So, here is Poem Audio #1.
The two poems discussed in this recording are “Falling in Love” from TCTTC and a new piece “Paper Plates.” Each poem has been reprinted below the audio file for those who wish to read along. Enjoy!
“Falling in Love”
The other night I stood for half an hour
Between the night sky and the butterfly wings of sleep,
Trying to count how many times I’ve fallen in love with you.
The streetlights filled our window while you slept,
But all I could do was wander around the room, hands folded,
The wind stirring the leaves on the pavement outside.
For years I have looked beneath the rocks in the river,
Inspected the wrists of jazz drummers
And the breath of blue roses for the full moon.
I have unlaced the fog in the morning
And swept the brushstrokes of dew on the ground
To find the words for our love,
And the candles at every step of our memory,
Lighted by the words we’ve spoken,
They are becoming forest fires.
In my hands are a dozen marbles. When I hold them up to you
To show the colors of my love, the sound of their scattering
On the floor tells me to try again.
And I try again every time,
Finding you over and over in the corner of my eye,
Smiling like the day we first met.
So I stayed awake that night, wondering how
I might manage to hold all this love
When all along it lay quietly in the way our fingers touch when we watch movies,
Your knees bent beneath the blanket,
The hours drifting away like snow.
I’m trying to remember how long we’ve eaten on paper plates,
Cheap napkins with printed lilacs,
Both of us bending the tines of plastic forks
As we slowly keep from speaking.
When did we become so still, so suddenly motionless,
Twin marble statues stuck beneath the weight of water,
Staring in the distance past each other’s ocean shadow?
How did the sunlight in our voices
Fade into the night, our fingers numb
As blackened matches, our gazes turned to separate walls?
There must have been a moment when we accidentally said our last words,
When the sugar in our breath slid deep into our memory,
A good friend of mine asked me to write a short post for his blog, and I have included the link here. I hope you all enjoy!
I recently spoke with someone who mentioned that one of her friends does not encourage her children to “play pretend” or involve themselves in any sort of imaginary world. Inviting small children to imagine, she explained, inhibits them from readily acknowledging and confessing what is true. She believed a strong and healthy imagination in her […]