Poiema

Institute for faith, culture, and creativity

The Humanity of Horace

Son of a former slave, Quintus Horatius Flaccus writes of the best and worst of men in first century BC. Though he grew up in a small Italian village, Horace received the best of educations in Rome, culminating in a grand tour of Athens. There, however, he was quickly swayed by Brutus, Julius Caesar’s assassin, […]

Old Western Culture Webinar

Socrates, Plato’s mentor and the protagonist in his dialogues, is notorious for his repeated declaration of the Delphic oracle: γνῶθι σεαυτόν(Know Thyself). To this end, another influential philosopher opined, “Whoever would make of himself a distinctive individual must be keen to perceive what he is not.” In other words, what these writers understood is that […]

On Romantic Literature

By the time Mary Shelley published Frankenstein in 1818—it could be argued her Modern Prometheus was the quintessence of Romantic literature—it would seem the Romantic era was already approaching its zenith. Just 20 years earlier Wordsworth and Coleridge had published their Lyrical Ballads, believed by most to be the “the premiere volume of English Romanticism,” […]

Finding Meaning in Literature

In chapter two of Christianity and Literature, Jeffrey and Maillet lament, “Many literary majors…graduate without any clear sense of whether literary theory enables them to find…any truth, goodness, beauty or even any meaning in literature.” In response to this dismal assessment, indulge me a brief opportunity to summarize the three theories of truth—truth being the […]

Untethered τέχνη

By James Chaisson The polls tell us that we as a collective whole are becoming less religious and less concerned about sacred and holy things, at least in the Western world. At the same time we are becoming more and more entranced with science and technology, what the ancient Greeks called τέχνη (Techne). Most people […]