Masters of Metaphor: Thomas Boston

Yep, the theologian.

Hence initial and progressive repentance, though the former be the repentance of a sinner, the latter of a saint, are no more different kinds of repentance, than the soul’s . . . faith in its first, and after actings. But as the midday and evening sun are the same with the morning sun, […]

Changes to The O-files

I’ve decided, for the foreseeable future at least, to take this website in another direction. Since I’m on Facebook now, I’ve got a place to post the family items and the occasional herptile picture, so, fear not, those won’t stop. And The O-files will be my place to concentrate on poetry, literature, and […]


Only I’m not on Twitter.

…refusal to believe in God is like “not believing in Bob Dylan because you’ve only heard the CDs and never saw [sic] him in concert.

~Tobias Wolff, via Mary Karr

Wait, is that less than 140? Oh, well.

A Translation Attempt

Love Song

Rainer Maria Rilke


How might I restrain my soul
from touching yours? How could I
raise it beyond you to other things?
How I would secret it
in some far place, dark and
silent as the space between stars,
which is not shaken when you tremble.

But all that touches you and me
unites us, as a bow stroke
calls from separate […]

No Small Fête

This poem is the one that first drew Stevens (born today these 134 years ago) to my attention.

The Emperor of Ice Cream

Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last […]

Who is Azcan? What's a hoo?

Bantams in Pine-Woods

Chieftain Iffucan of Azcan in caftan
Of tan with henna hackles, halt!

Damned universal cock, as if the sun
Was blackamoor to bear your blazing tail.

Fat! Fat! Fat! Fat! I am the personal.
Your world is you. I am my world.

You ten-foot poet among inchlings. Fat!
Begone! An inchling bristles in these pines,

Bristles, […]

Lacking Imagination

Wallace Stevens’ birthday is next Wednesday, one day before mine (note to self: post Amazon wishlist in sidebar), so I’ll be posting a poem each (non-Sabbath) day until then. Happily, many of his works are public domain, so I don’t have to wrest or wrangle in order to claim fair use. Today, let […]

Two Poems with the Same Subject

and, to my mind, one is far superior. Which one gets your vote?


Boy at the Window

Seeing the snowman standing all alone
In dusk and cold is more than he can bear.
The small boy weeps to hear the wind prepare
A night of gnashings and enormous moan.
His tearful sight can hardly reach to where
The pale-faced figure with […]

Zartman on the Moral Imagination in Harry Potter

Writer, theolog, man-about-Sumatran-coffee-joints, and friend of mine, Joel Zartman opines on J.K. Rowling’s successes and failures (the proportions of each of which I will leave to his article to reveal) in engaging the moral imagination via her Harry and his Hogwartian cohorts.

So, you can tell from the above that I’ve never read any of it, […]

Approaching Perfection

Bees work for man; and yet they never bruise
Their master’s flower, but leave it, having done,
As fair as ever, and as fit to use;
So both the flower doth stay, and hony run.

~from George Herbert’s “Providence”