Emily Dickinson and the Art of Doubt

Sometimes designating herself the “Queen of Calvary,” nineteenth-century American poet Emily Dickinson is known as a poet of emotional extremes.  In one moment she is “inebriate of air” and “debauchee of the dew,” the next, she is wallowing in deep despair, acknowledging that she “likes a look of Agony” because she knows “it’s true.” While […]

Red Booth Notes: The Faith of Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson has come down to us as the “great Cham of literature,” the man whose immense erudition gave rise to the classic Dictionary of the English Language (1755). He was, in the words of one contemporary, “among the best and ablest writers that England has produced.” Biographer and essayist, lexicographer, literary critic, poet and […]

Children’s Literature and Hope

My wife and I recently sat down with Shel Silverstein’s enchanting, odd, contemporary classic, Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974). Multiple generations of children now have been captivated by this quirky, deceptively simple, sometimes elusive but sometimes unashamedly straightforward collection of poems and drawings. The book in fact—like its descendents, A Light in the Attic and […]

Faith, Hope and Poetry by Malcolm Guite: Book Review

Does poetry matter? Yes indeed, very much so, and Malcolm Guite’s book Faith, Hope and Poetry goes a long way toward showing why and how. Today we live in a culture that habitually sees Reason and Imagination as separate and in conflict. Poetry can help us see that Truth is far richer and deeper than […]

Does Poetry Matter?

Words matter. Words are of central importance. But not perhaps in the way that we think. Christianity is not a religion of a book. We have a book, a wonderful true book given to us by God, but our faith is not centered on the book. Our faith is centered on a Person, the person […]