“God’s Grandeur” – Hand-Lettered Art

An Apple Pencil and a Victorian Jesuit poet: they don’t seem a very likely combination, do they? But Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “God’s Grandeur” is one of my favorite sonnets; so I used the freedom of the digital medium to pair Hopkin’s poem with a picture I took last summer in the beautiful Wind River Mountains of Wyoming, and tried to suit my lettering to the meaning and feel of the poetry. Here’s the result:

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An Uncommon Dozen: Commonplace Quotes from October-March 2018-19

Well, it’s been entirely too long since I posted commonplace quotes! And it appears that I have read entirely too many good books since then: I have collected one hundred and twenty-eight quotes since that post. So, let’s see what if I can pick a favorite dozen… which is like to be a hard task, considering that I picked those hundred and twenty-two as just so many gems of writing, the best things I encountered while reading. First, though, I’d like to share what my physical commonplace book looks like. October’s quotes, as it happens, are not copied into it—I am a hundred and forty-one quotes behind in it—but I’ve been having fun with writing in it, which makes catching up more enjoyable. Instead of page after page of none-too-elegant printing, it now looks more like this:

While the hand-lettering here is very imperfect, I enjoyed doing it. Maybe someday I’ll be good enough that I can write directly with a pen without making mistakes… but on to more recently captured quotes!

As we did last time, let’s start with a little common sense:

“This above all: to thine own self be true.”  That’s William Shakespeare, right?  Correct.  And also, of course, radical relativism. But what I failed to recognize (even as I and my classmates were embracing this relativistic phrase as our personal motto) was that Shakespeare never said that.  He wrote it, yes, but Polonius said it.  And Polonius is a blithering idiot.

Professor Joseph Pearce in a WCC commencement speech for the class of 2018
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An Uncommon Dozen: Commonplace Quotes from August-September 2018

As a CM student, I keep a commonplace book—a practice which was once common to most well-educated people.  This is a place where I can copy down and keep near me especially beautiful or important or thought-provoking or amusing quotes from what I read.  While I’m backlogged on copying these into my physical commonplace book, I’ve encountered some lovely thoughts recently, and I thought I’d share some of them with you.

To start, some common sense from George MacDonald.  The Princess and the Goblin  is the second book I have read aloud.  Hannah, Justin, and I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe together, then Irene and Curdie’s first adventures.  We’re onto The Princess and Curdie now.

“That’s all nonsense,” said Curdie.  “I don’t know what you mean.”
“Then if you don’t know what I mean, what right have you to call it nonsense?” asked the princess, a little offended.

George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin
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