Hymns of the Cross: Look, Ye Saints!

Thomas Kelly has written 790 hymns, most of which are rarely sung (a notable exception being “Praise the Savior, Ye Who Know Him”). Some of his texts, though, are overlooked gems, including one of his several hymns of the cross, “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted” and what seems to be a Resurrection hymn, “Look, Ye, […]

Hymns of the Cross: O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

It is a minor shame that, despite having spent the prior 18 years of my life regularly attending a Baptist Church, it wasn’t until I went to college that I encountered the great hymn of the faith, “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.” Again, thank you Dr. Ledgerwood.

I some time ago, I started this series […]

Hymns of the Cross: When I Survey

Isaac Watts is the author of two of the most widely known hymns of the cross. Since my favorite, “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed,” was the subject of a very good article by Ryan Martin at Religious Affections, I will be content to encourage you to read that there.

The other, “When I Survey […]

Hymns of the Cross: My God, I Love Thee

I think the Catholic notions of perfect and imperfect contrition can be very helpful to us Protestants, even though we would reject such aspects of those notions as touch on the nature of grace and justification, etc. But the basic definitions do clarify for us the nature of true repentance.

Imperfect contrition is a sense […]

Hymns of the Cross: A Christmas Hymn?

Richard Wilbur, who turned 90 this year, has published 11 collections of poetry, 10 plays (translating three more from other languages) as well as various prose and critical pieces. Among his various recognitions are two Pulitzers, and two appointments to the post of Poet Laureate of the United States.  He is, perhaps, our […]

Face Down on the Mat (NaPoWriMo Update)

I don’t know why anyone would ever make a big announcement about his lofty goals on the internet. Ever, I say!

I’m three for nine this month.

I doubt I’ll catch (or even keep) up.


Some advice from John Haines is (coldly) comforting.

Write when you feel moved to, in response to some inner necessity, or when […]

Commence, Cruel Month!

Well it’s National Poetry Writing Month again, and I’m taking the plunge, again. Hopefully I can stick with it this year. 30 poems in 30 days is sheer madness.

I’ll be posting some of them here, but don’t judge too harshly. The goal is not immediate quality but establishing a writing habit, experimenting […]