- Andrew -
as it is
Colloquium Christus The Christ Colloquy
In 'The Christ Colloquy', I explore courtly love, the love of English Literature, then, the superior love for Philosophy, as the handmaiden of Theology, preparatory to filial love for
Our Lady, and the Communion of Saints. Loving the Sacred Heart of Jesus, purifies the new,
eternal 'sommo poeta', to become a new disciple and a new evangelist in Book VI, and to marry in Book VI, experiencing full, vocational human love on earth, as husband and wife, and a Roman Catholic family, preparatory to the love of God in Heaven, and the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. In Book VII, 'the eternal pilgrim' fulfills a final journey, travelling on pilgrimage to Rome, led and instructed by the Holy Spirit, in the form of a pillar of cloud.
'The Christ Colloquy' is a complete 'DNA Theory' of the Literature of The Western Canon.
The poem begins, in media res, with the exiled Englishman, travelling on pilgrimage to the
basilica of St Paul's in Rome for the Triduum of 2013, to seek consolation at the loss of singing Gregorian Chant, in the holy white choirwood of an English monastery. During His Passion, on Good Friday afternoon, Christ addresses the exile from the wood of the Cross, and grants him the title of Andrew 'of the wood', in recognition of his distress, at not having found Thomas More's monastic utopia on earth.
The Logos, initiates the journey of his, Christ's 'Cross-back', recalling Dante from Paradise,
to receive the exile, as his pupil in divine poetry, so that he might learn how to sing a new literary gospel by being admitted into Dante's Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, that night,
as they are in 2013, while the monks sing vespers and compline at St Paul's.
Canto I of the new poem begins, with the weeping poet, recalling the lost grace of singing Gregorian chant in his choir-stall, as a novice monk, honouring in truth, the 'selva opaca'.
Too, quite past mid-point, along this wide, wide way,
Of my life, and having known too long, the
Deeep and tracky-ruck, of that most unwan and
Unwhite of English wood and wept, and, having
Touched too, most lightly upon that continental
Solemn wood and failed; and, heel touched high York...
'The Christ Colloquy', Book I Commedia, Canto I: 1-6, Grattan.
And, in the falling thrush of early April showers,
In the half-yellow afternoon light, long before the
Full hard hot of summer, had beat weathered
Summered Tuscan greened soil, or, had thrashed
Blake's green English hills and lands unJerusalem;
As remembered, seated before the three
Presence symbols in Triduum's Rome before
The third hour of Crucifixion veneraation, Holy Week
Sequential mass intoned by the holy abbot-
Monk of priest, encircled by his holy monastic
Band, and sung lofty thrice, low in transept:
'This is the wood of the Cross, on which
The Saviour of the world was hung'; half-
Way aisled:'This is the wood of the Cross,
On which the Saviour of the world was
Hung'; and, crenellated before the fazing
Altar where lie revered the interred bones
Of the great Paul saint...
'The Christ Colloquy' Book I Commedia Canto I: 26-43, Grattan.
The figure of April, a real person, but primarily a new literary creation, has been created and
designed in harmony with Dante's figure of Beatrice, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Designed in seven books, as a didactic summa, to educate, evangelize and delight, the poem is a new literary gospel, written foremost, to honour Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, the theotokos,
but also, to accompany, fulfill and honour 'The Divine Comedy'.
'Beatrice, my beloved mother spiritual, what is Philosophy? Is it that subject, that grounded Boethius discoursed about, with Lady Philosophy in Ravenna?'
'The Christ Colloquy', Book III Filosofia, Canto II: 1-3.
Beatrice and April discoursing in Paradise together, before descending to
St. Paul's outside-the-walls in Rome, at 6 pm, on Holy Saturday evening, 2013.
The governing notion of the new 'Commedia' of 2013, is the confusio intellectus of the three
woods, three different monastic choirwoods, in three different monasteries in England, which
form a trinitarian aspect of Dante's 'selva oscura', as part of the unifying image of the wooden Cross of Christ.
The divine agency of April's face and smile, guides Andrew through the naturally changed and updated Inferno of 2013, to the famous wood of the suicides, ('The Divine Comedy', Inferno, Canto XIII), and rids him of false over-love, for the holy, white choirwood of William Blake's heavenly 'Jerusalem' monastery in rural West Berkshire, and grounds him in the clarifying
agency of the truthful opposite of Dante's 'selva oscura', the purifying, dark, choirwood of a contemplative monastery of the French Solesmes Congregation on More's 'holy isle of Utopia', the Isle of Wight, and, to properly cherish, the learning, excellence and truth of the 'Ample' choirwood of England's Augustinian 'City of God', in Yorkshire.
'For, the ellipsis of the Logos is yours, when all you sought
Was the sweet, white road, deducted away from, that
One, white purity. Fasten, this new impulsion, upon your
Heart, and follow, your courtly love, for this Florentine Child,-
She, whose face, is carved in Inferno;-
She, whose face, was carved cut in coelis, in the
Image of Mary, April, she, who bears the dark
Hair, and that long nose of the tribe of Judah;-
You, who gazed on the face earthly, of Our Lady, and
Will never see the unvein veins, of some unvein vains, again'.
'The Christ Colloquy', Book I Commedia, Canto XIII: 132-142, Grattan.
Ciacco counsels Andrew 'of the wood', before his two masters, Dante and Virgil, in the third circle of Dante's re-entered Inferno, as it is today, on Good Friday evening, 2013.
The new poet, must love the wood of the Cross completely, in order for the Gregorian Chant of Adonai Abbey, to be transubstantiated into new, strange and strong epic poetry, in the
form of the words of a new literary gospel, and to have the verbum or logos, the word of God, impanated within his heart, and focus solely upon the Cross of Christ.
As Dante mourned and wept for the eternal loss of Florence, exiled by the priors of the city, presumably on false charges of corruption, Andrew mourns the loss of singing the Adonai Office and serving the parishioners and oblates of the monastery, before he was persuaded
to leave the monastery at the conclusion of the novitiate, by two jealous solemnly professed monks. Then, seven years of exile, by the council, conclude with a profound experience of courtly love in Florence, guided by the Holy Spirit and Vocatio, at the crucial and defining 'pilgrim' age of 35, creating seven books for Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man from 'As You like It', echoing too, Thomas Merton's 'Seven Storey Mountain', and, the seven deadly sins.
I contrast Dante's great interest in politics and the relationship between Church and State, explored in 'De Monarchia' with a clarifying and purifying utopian philosophy, sourced in Thomas More's golden handbook, 'Utopia'.
The poem is also a spiritual quest, in order to acquire sufficient purity of heart, puritas cordis, to kiss the logos into the heart of a woman and achieve a new, sublime and unique, dynastic marriage, divinely sanctioned by the Holy Trinity, second only, to that of Joseph and Mary,
an unsurpassably lofty partnership, above even, their celebrated antecedents and spiritual parents, Dante and Beatrice, to create the words of a new literary Gospel for Shakespeare's England of today, to rest underneath Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, in the fusion of two intellects and two conjoined lives, 'the library', (Andrew) and 'the librarian', (April).
'Now that this sensation is
Complete within you, in this preached coming
Of your discipleship-kingdom, lay I will, open to you,
The regions of Hell, to tire out my bones to death in
Heaven; for it seems, the Holy Spirit, has long awaited
The coming of the Cross-Man, choirwood planed, as well
As wide shouldered, to remove from me il
Sommo poeta's garb, and rename His name,
Yahweh, for poetry-prophecy'. And, before
Me then, Dante half-disrobed. 'I admit and
Recognize your auctoritas, and Christ sanctioned,
I, cede my place to you, eternal pilgrim'. And,
Without his singing robes, the cloakless Dante,
Stripped his back to tunic half-nakedness,
Though, the ivy crown, still atop his head....
'The Christ Colloquy', Book I Commedia, Canto XIII: 19-33, Grattan.
The figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary, directs and guides Beatrice, April and Vocatio in the poem, who in turn, love and protect the new poet. In Book II, 'Letteratura', the poet walks on Chaucerian pilgrimage, with the Blessed Virgin, from Southwark to Walsingham in Norfolk, and then Florence to Rome, to rebuild entirely, the logos, desecrated by Joyce in 'Finnegans Wake', and return it, to full glory and eminence, building on the preliminary work of
'The Christ Sonnets'. This prepares him for the honour of meeting Our Lady herself, flanked by Beatrice and April with Ruth, before St. Peter and St. Paul, beside Sacerdos and Robinson, in the garden of Gethsemane, alongside Christ's tomb at midday, on Easter Sunday 2013.
'Please, Sir, will you not sing for my Edward King?'
'The Christ Colloquy', Book V Mary, Canto III: 1, Grattan.
Our Lady addresses Andrew 'of the wood', the greyhound and new 'sommo poeta',
by Christ's tomb in the garden of Gethsemane, at midday on Easter Sunday, 2013.
It is to Virgil, however, before Cicero, that Andrew first explains his long journey, and the progression through the whole cycle of the seven books is set in motion:
And I spoke up to Virgil: 'I came out of the Moses
Wicker basket of the Stratford, unknown the Babel
Gather of those lesser names, until, the distil
Of dry education, as complying to any name as
Of that reducting shepherd, the English masque
Of John Milton, the wreathing magnificence of his
Works, lie as a befiting moot happy, upon
The rooding Cross itself. As to the Stratford, I
Acknowledge, the eternal grant of his corpus
Upon my body and spirit; the long enmeshment
Of my ideas, has been made fertile within the
Crescent of my Synoptic accreditation and hard
Without, sped the indoctrination within patres
Ecclesiae graecique (and the pagans tongued
Their suffers). Changing Ovid, for those fanciful
Draughts, 'Metamorphoses', England, bears the
Many redresses of his influences, and they re-
Main untouched by me, passage of my many years;
But, the unretardation of my carrying growth
Speaks of the Latin-Greek-Hebraicization; for,
Desert Fathers, dewed my soul, and Theologians,
Both east and west, as split the tributaries,
Of the charcterful eaarly moderns, -More and
Tyndale, and those lesser, whose, names, my
Teeth grind out but fitfully, Marlowe, Spenser
An their ilk; but, pooled longest the specctres
Of the lecturing hall and myself enlegislature,
Destructive, Irish, provincial Joyce, and cleaving
Ever remote of this figure, Dante, whose
Transcendent pained soul, I, would fain call
Master. Through, the harassment of my unfound e-
Utopia, with the escalating condemnation that has
Worn me sullied, soiled, hurt, doubt-ridden, through
These, I have earned this won name of 'of the wood''.
And Cicero spat back: 'Well, you inrhetoric yourself,
When you should be upsinging bread crusts to Heaven'.
'The Christ Colloquy', Book I Commedia, Canto X: 1-36, Grattan.
- April -
The Christ Colloquy
Book I Commedia
Dante and 'The Divine Comedy'
97 cantos 6 pm Good Friday, 2013
Dante and Virgil, guide Andrew 'of the wood', through Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise, with the divine aid of Beatrice, April and Vocatio, to become the new 'sommo poeta' and 'the eternal pilgrim' at 40, and author the new, companion 'Commedia' of 2013, as the first book of
the Globe &
The Christ Colloquy
Book II Letteratura
Shakespeare and Canonical Literature
93 cantos 6 am Holy Saturday, 2013
The Globe, William, leads The logos globe, Andrew, through 'Letteratura Land', a whole, new literary world, inside a side altar, inside a side chapel, in St Paul's, to the Guicciardini Tower in Florence, where the First Folio, is centred inside a white, metal, spiral staircase, symbolizing Shakespeare's DNA at the centre of The Western Canon. The Stratford man, renames him Andrew Wood, and instates and recognizes him, as a new and third canon centre.
The Christ Colloquy
Book III Filosofia
St Thomas More and Philosophy
93 cantos 3 pm Holy Saturday, 2013
Thomas More, author of 'Utopia', guides Andrew through Philosophy, in a dialogue in the
presence of Beatrice, April, Peter Gillis, Raphael Hythloday and twelve philosophers, in the
wooden choir-stalls of St. Paul's. Plato and Aristotle engage with Aquinas, Descartes, Kant and Hume, the truth of their ideas, being mediated by More, via the medium of his golden handbook.
The Christ Colloquy
Book IV Teologia
St Augustine and Theology
93 cantos 6 am Easter Sunday, 2013
St. Augustine of Hippo, receives Andrew as his amanuensis in his study at Carthage in Africa, to record Augustine's personal survey of Theology. From Iraneus of Lyons and Origen, to Anselm and Aquinas; from Luther and John Calvin, to von Balthasar and Rahner, Augustine evaluates more recent figures, including Henri de Lubac and Cardinal Newman.
The Christ Colloquy
Book V Mary
Our Lady, the Saints and Religious Orders
93 cantos 12 noon Easter Sunday
In the garden of Gethsemane, beside Christ's tomb, Our Lady, in the company of St. Peter & St. Paul, Beatrice, April & Ruth and Sacerdos & Robinson, explains the rarerst love of God known only to the Communion of Saints and the greatest saints who founded new religious orders. This encounter prepares Andrew to meet Christ at the hour of the Crucifixion, Love himself, and the 'Wood-Love' of the Cross.
The Christ Colloquy
Book VI Jesus
Christ and Love
93 cantos 3 pm Easter Sunday
Christ greets Andrew on the shores of Galilee to meet the 12 disciples, and teaches him about true love, so that he can become a new disciple, and a 'fisher of men', as a new evangelist. At 3 pm, in the duomo, Andrew and April marry in Roman Catholic matrimony, founding a new dynasty in Florence, the House of April, for both Shakespeare, born and died in April, and the Tribe of April, for Jesus, a new tribe of Israel, for the April-Jesus of Easter Monday.
- greyhound -
The Christ Colloquy
Book VII Cielo
The Holy Trinity and the Church
93 cantos 6 am Easter Monday
A Chaucerian pilgrimage from Florence to Rome, is led by the Holy Spirit, in the form of a pillar of cloud, to form 'the Vinians', and 'the Aprilians'. Andrew guides Virgil and Dante up the Santa Scala, the new form of Mount Purgatory for 2013, and, as il sommo poeta, he receives the ivy laurel crown from Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict. A carnival then takes place, to celebrate a new literary 'gospel', and the resurrexit Jesus, the 'child of April'.