Catholic Distance University

Book Review: Ignatius Critical Editions

Ignatius Critical Editions
Edited by Joseph Pearce

Hamlet (William Shakespeare)
312 pp., $12.95, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-586-17261-9

Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
596 pp., $12.95, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-586-17263-3

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde)
365 pp., $12.95, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-586-17262-6

Reviewed by Eleanor Bourg Donlon

Is Hamlet so rampant with bawdy jokes that it is simply a very long, very dirty “shaggy dog story”? [Read more...]

Our Father

Joseph O’Brien

His head is weathered to the rain-greyed granite you can find
Bald and cropping the turf on any old Irish hillside. His eyes, in kind,
Are as hazel as the bay of Galway’s own self.

His smile, though, is straight from a Hoboken bar,
Arresting you with the no-nonsense laugh a Jersey City cop lives for 
As he asks you, almost prayerfully, to put up your hands. [Read more...]

Irish Wake

Joseph O’Brien

for Patrick Slattery

And with the clashing of their sword-blades make A rapturous music, till the morning break...
--W.B. Yeats

We’re a nation of all talk, recording
The story of our blood, registering
Our complaints against Land, Lord and Love
According to the latest government,
Counting past grudges and future graces 
On our beads and in our pews as from the isles. [Read more...]

The Game of Sean McTeague

Eleanor Bourg Donlon

Sean McTeague was the sort of fellow who used righteous anger for everyday occasions. Had he lived in epic times, Sean McTeague certainly would have been an epic hero…or perhaps an epic villain. The trouble with epic times is that the difference between heroes and villains is sometimes rather vague. Take Achilles, for example–a more sorry excuse for a human being has never lived. One treasures the knowledge of his heel and waits with bated breath for the moment when someone will have the inspiration to tap the blighter’s hamstring. [Read more...]

Tears

J.B. Toner

This vale, tsunami-wracked and deluge-filled,
A rocking isthmus ringed with roiling foam,
And huddled under sobbing heavens’ gloam,
Where arks and barks beneath the dark we build,
To fare on tear-seas over earths we tilled
In warmer days before our sunlit home
Was swallowed up to lie with salted bones
Far, far below the stormclouds stirred and spilled—
Charybdis-whirling, roaring, plunging, curled
By moon-pull in a towering lonely tide,
This watered globe, this sorrow-soaking world: [Read more...]

499

Enrique García Máiquez

Translated by David Alexander

To the 498 Spanish martyrs of the 1930s and all those who suffered religious persecution during the 20th century.

The militia men shoved him out of his house, ready to make him the 499th martyr for some future beatification. Don Bartolomé let himself be pushed along, knowing that he had few hopes. Just the same as always. When he discovered that the leader of the so-called Death Squadron was Manolito–the kid from las Tejas–he thought maybe all was not lost. He had been Manolito’s teacher in the town’s school and he knew well that the boy’s brute force was matched only by his pride. [Read more...]

Pity

Sarah Gajkowski-Hill

and we were supposed to recognize this dank silhouette:
He--mottled, knotted, screaming
shrugged into a lice and tick-eaten rag,
wrapped tightly in her unwashed hair?

light emanated from his bare footsteps
his progress spreading a dim glow miles around,
energy prompting boats he stood on to push themselves
into the middle of lakes [Read more...]

Book Review: Redeemed

Katy Carl

Redeemed: A Spiritual Misfit Stumbles Toward God, Marginal Sanity, and the Peace that Passes All Understanding
by Heather King
Viking Press, 2008
238 pages, $24.95

After my recent conversation with Heather King, I am again left thinking about what self-gift means for the writer: “You willingly allow yourself to be consumed.” Of course, when King said this, she meant that writing consumes the writer, not that reading does. But “consuming” also connotes nourishment, refreshment. [Read more...]

The Salvation of Glorianne

Dena Hunt

Brother Bob stood behind the pulpit and read the Scripture slowly and sorrowfully: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” The sleeves of his white shirt were rolled up, so the golden curls covering his thin arms showed when he raised the open Bible. He had been preaching for over an hour. The shirt was wet almost all over with sweat. His red curly hair was combed back into an oily ducktail with curls on top and a single small corkscrew curl falling down on his forehead. His eyes were light blue, and they could look icy mean sometimes. That’s why Glorianne thought he must be a good preacher. [Read more...]

Mesquite

Kate Bluett
The mesquite is not a tree
although it can be climbed.
There was one on the playground,
and the pretty girls claimed it for their own.
They laughed among its leaves of lace
while we less-favored
sweated in the sun. [Read more...]
www.bringuptospeed.com