Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Advent Poem 13


from Hymn on the Nativity
by Ephrem of Syria


Your mother is a cause for wonder: The Lord entered her
and became a servant; he who is the Word entered
and became silent within her; thunder entered her
and made no sound; there entered the Shepherd of all,
and in her he became the Lamb, bleating as he came forth.

Your mother's womb has reversed the roles:
the Establisher of all entered in his richness,
but came forth poor; the Exalted One entered her,
but came forth meek; the Splendrous One entered her,
but came forth having put on a lowly hue.

The Mighty One entered, and put on insecurity
from her womb; the Provisioner of all entered
and experienced hunger; he who gives drink to all entered
and experienced thirst: naked and stripped
there came forth from her he who clothes all.

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