Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Womb Before the Dawn

The phrase "in the womb before the dawn" comes from the translation of Psalm 110 used in The Liturgy of the Hours. I've been thinking about that idea for several months. Today, this poem came to me. Tonight is the vigil of Pentecost 2011. Pentecost is nothing less than a new creation, the birth of the Church.

In the Womb Before the Dawn

Wild winter waters,
Disordered deep,
Empty and formless void
Waiting for the wind
In the womb before the dawn.

The dove hovering
Moving over the ocean's face
Creating the foundations--
de profundis.

The breath breathes
The word speaks
From the heart of God

And there is light
To end the endless night
Of creation's confusion
At the cosmos' untamed sight
As the first day
Gives birth to the dawn.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What Is Irish Music?

There are two kinds of Irish music. Most people, especially around St. Patrick's Day, think of those sappy sentimental songs like "When Irish Eye's Are Smiling" or comic songs like "Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder?" Some have called this American Irish music.

True Irish music can be sentimental, but never sappy. It's humor is the humor that come out of a hard life. Frank Harte said, ""Those in power write the history, while those who suffer write the songs. And given our history, the Irish have alot of songs." As G.K. Chesterton put it,

"The great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad
For all their wars are merry
And all their songs are sad"

The problem is that people confuse the two types of Irish music, making life difficult for Irish singers like Robbie O'Connell.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Watson on Jeopardy!

Well, the 3 day commercial for IBM on Jeopardy! is over and Watson won. As Ken Jennings said "I, for one welcome our new computer overlords." After revealing that Toronto is in the US, or at least it's airports are, I'm surprised that Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter didn't realize Watson's weakness. Captain Kirk figured it out in 1967! (The best part starts at 1 minute in.)