Madeleine L’Engle and the Dilemma of Christian Poesy in the Modern Culture

I am privileged to have part one of my article on Madeleine L’Engle’s poetry published over at Fr. Al Kimel’s blog. Check it out and join the conversation!

Eclectic Orthodoxy

by Alana Roberts

Madeleine L’Engle’s earthly life began in 1918 and ended in 2007. When she was born, the world was only 17 years out from the end of the Victorian period. When she passed away—well, it was nine years ago. I don’t know what you were doing then, but I was mostly trying to keep my toddler out of the street, if memory serves. During L’Engle’s lifespan, the world of poetry worked through some pretty hefty challenges. Matthew Arnold, the most notable Victorian critic, had placed a burden on poetry that it has yet to recover from to our own day: he charged it with the duty, as he saw it, of replacing religion. As such, it was to become wholly serious, dignified, and elevated.

What would happen, in such a pass, to the delightfully frivolous poem—like this one from an anonymous poet?

Ye little snails,
With slippery tails,

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