Menu

Good Letters

Remembering W.S. Merwin: Poet of Disappearance

| | 0 Comments

On March 15, acclaimed American poet W.S. Merwin died at age 91. Merwin wrote in other genres as well: four prose books, three plays, and twenty volumes of translations of poetry. But it’s for his own poetry that he has long been celebrated. In the 1960s, his poems against the Vietnam War brought him wide…

Jonathan Anderson and the Life of Modern Art

| | 0 Comments

When I lived in St. Louis, one of the paintings I always looked forward to seeing most at the art museum in Forest Park was Franz Kline’s Bethlehem (1959-60). It looks like a smudged cross on a pale Ash Wednesday forehead. It looks like the steel girders of a suspension bridge. It looks like random…

Poetry Friday: March: Saint John the Divine

| | 0 Comments

“These Lenten weeks are wordless, gray and slow.” It takes poet Elizabeth Spires four verses to get to this line. Before this, the poem’s speaker imagines a more colorful and lively season, as the church garden’s peacock “spread its glorious tail.” The feathers remind the speaker “of doves descending, the promise of a season yet…

Always: On the Death (and Resurrection) of a Denomination

| | 0 Comments
empty pews

I used to steal away into the sanctuary of Community United Methodist Church when I was a kid—this is fifth, maybe sixth grade—and lay on my back in the cool wooden pews, staring up at the ceiling with nothing short of wonder. (Note: this wasn’t on Sunday morning or Wednesday evening or any other time…

Hovering

| | 0 Comments

The Thaw at Vetheuil by Claude Monet Loss has laid bare my day. I’m attempting to make room for grief, “enjoy” the free time. I read, try to write, take more walks. I choose a nearby lake to circle.  After a few death spasms– late snows and unseasonably cold days–winter’s finally loosened his grip. Life…

Frames of Mind: Nine Reflections on the Passing of Filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami

| | 0 Comments

1. We’ve been watching the bird feeder. As the day comes into focus with the bedroom window’s frame, the light catches steam rising from our morning mugs like smoke rising from sacrifices on altars. Anne and I attend, blank journals propped like tents in our laps. We are not alone. Our cats, Mardukas and Zooey,…

Did Jesus Have ADHD?

| | 0 Comments

This is for Michael Alan Brooks. The first thing, of course, was the birth. Not the virginal aspect of it—if anything, having a mother who was barely a teen, armed with nothing but joyful acquiescence about something truly weird, would at least have served to hamper the tendency to overthink everything that plagues us older…

The Unpleasantries of Embodiment

| | 0 Comments

Like Rebecca Bratten Weiss (“Shapeshifting Jesus,” February 19, 2019), I was drawn to Katie Kresser’s essay, “Christ the Chimera: The Riddle of the Monster Jesus” (Image 99), with its full-page rendering of the so-called “Alexamenos graffito.” Etched into a Roman wall circa 200 AD, the cartoon mockingly depicts a Christian venerating a donkey-headed figure on a cross. The image has long…

Poetry Friday: Ego as Deduction (Agnes Martin Speaks)

| | 0 Comments

Last year, I made Valentines with my four year-old using sheets of watercolor paper ripped into smaller rectangles and Crayola watercolors.  After he quickly made his way through several of the mini-paintings, making only a few marks on each,  I asked him if he wanted to add any more to some of them. He said…

Please Keep Doors Closed: A Methodist Mourns

| | 0 Comments

My parents were supposed to spend the last week at the United Methodist Church General Conference in St. Louis. Dad, who’s served as a UMC minister for the past forty-two years, joked that he wanted to be there to see the church either go down in flames or rebuild itself from the ashes, depending on…

The Image Blog

Editor
Jessica Mesman
Regular Contributors
Bryan Bliss
Richard Chess
Brad Fruhauff
Caroline Langston
Morgan Meis
Christiana Peterson
Peggy Rosenthal
Tania Runyan
Brian Volck

For the humanists of the Renaissance, literature mattered because it was concrete and experiential—it grounded ideas in people’s lives. Their name for this kind of writing was bonae litterae, a phrase we’ve borrowed as the title for our blog. Every weekday, one of the gifted writers on our blogging team will offer a personal essay that makes a fresh connection between the world of faith and the world of daily life, spanning the gap between theology and experience and giving language a human shape.

Access one piece of artwork every month for free! To experience the full archive, log in or subscribe.

Pin It on Pinterest