The Conversatio Is Starting a New Series

McCullers

Carson McCullers (1917-1967)

The Member of the Wedding

Next month (on September 27th) we will begin a tour through Southern Gothic literature (1930s – 1960s). We are starting with the little known novella, The Member of the Wedding, by Carson McCullers. I have always enjoyed her work more than O’Connor’s, but McCullers has been overshadowed by the popularity of Flannery O ‘Connor.

This book is a lyrical story, about growing up in the South–and about seeking meaning and belonging in life. The setting is a small Georgia town in the sweltering month of August!  Those of you who have been enduring these days in the South will appreciate the way the heat is practically a character in the novel!

 

Read more about our new pursuit of Southern Gothic literature here.

 

Beginning The Aeneid

Conversatio has just begun reading The Aeneid…

Our first online discussion will be at 8:00 pm ET, Tuesday,  April 26th.  Below you can see a page of the work in its original language, Latin. Next week we begin a three month journey through Virgil’s Aeneid.  No, not in Latin! 🙂 We aren’t quite ready to read it in the original language, but we might examine a few key passages in the Latin. And if you have been studying Latin you will see how fun it is to use some of that hard work to read a portion of this great classic!
Aeneid Manuscript


Conversatio

a Latin noun that means
“the act of turning around (ideas) together.”

The Fall Conversatio

We are beginning a new season of the Conversatio, and I am very excited about this, as we are reading something this month that I’ve always wanted to study a bit more: Til We Have Faces!  It takes more than just one cursory reading to understand why Lewis considered it his best work of fiction!
For September we will get a start on Til We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, but mainly discuss the myth that inspired his rewriting: “Cupid and Psyche” by Apuleius.  And then we discuss Lewis’ work in November…
September 17 – 8:00 pm ET – Cupid & Psyche – Apuleius
November 12  – 8:00 pm ET – Til We Have Faces  – C.S. Lewis
Go here to read more about membership in the Conversatio.
Illustration of a scene in Cupid & Psych

Illustration of a scene in Cupid & Psych

Looking Towards Summer

The April Poetry Celebration is over now, but we are not done relishing poetry! I am thrilled to be taking Grace’s Poetry Matters workshop with others. I look forward to dwelling on the words of great poets and learning to understand them better.

Just now I’m sitting on the deck listening to the warbling of a variety of birds that live in our trees here. Its a glorious morning here in Mint Hill. There are flowers everywhere and I am feeling so blessed!

IMG_0059

The roses are blooming again. Three years ago, the first spring after we bought this great place, which had a yard like a jungle (everything had been let go), this rose bush thrust its way up into the air through an overgrown bush next to the deck. We had no idea it was there! I looked out of the kitchen window and saw several pink roses about to bud, and now each spring it take us by surprise, since we still haven’t gotten around to somehow digging up the bush that hides it away.

This makes me think of the riches of God’s grace that are hidden away under the mass of busyness that keeps us from spending time enjoying nature and friends. And spending time enjoying poetry and good books. Let them burst through!!

It also reminds me of the following lines in Burnt Norton (I love them, although I am still trying to understand Eliot’s poetry!)

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
                              But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
                        Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them, …

http://www.davidgorman.com/4Quartets/1-norton.htm

 

For April 28th

To his Coy Mistress

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day;
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood;
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

        But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv’d virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.

        Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am’rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp’d power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

by Andrew Marvell