Chesterton’s Nonfiction and Poems

Hudson Road near Judson Road in Kent (cmcbrown)

Hudson Road near Judson Road in Kent (cmcbrown)

Besides The Man Who Was Thursday, G. K. Chesterton wrote poetry, like “The Rolling English Road”:

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,

The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.

A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,

And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;

A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread

The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,

And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;

But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed

To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made,

Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands,
The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run

Behind him; and the hedges all strengthening in the sun?

The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which was which,

But the wild rose was above him when they found him in the ditch.

God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear
The night we went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier.
 
My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,
Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,

But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death;

For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.

He wrote “speculative nonfiction,” too.

Here is Chesterton defending nonsense in a reblog from the Blog of Bosh: G.K. Chesterton, A Defence of Nonsense (1902).
 

"So long as we regard a tree as an obvious thing, naturally and reasonably created for a giraffe to eat, we cannot properly wonder at it. It is when we consider it as a prodigious wave of the living soil sprawling up to the skies for no reason in particular that we take off our hats, to the astonishment of the park-keeper. " - G. K. Chesterton (Image by Charlie Stinchcomb)

“So long as we regard a tree as an obvious thing, naturally and reasonably created for a giraffe to eat, we cannot properly wonder at it. It is when we consider it as a prodigious wave of the living soil sprawling up to the skies for no reason in particular that we take off our hats, to the astonishment of the park-keeper. ” – G. K. Chesterton, in “A Defence of Nonsense” (Image by Charlie Stinchcomb)


 


You can read all the Chesterton you’d like here.



Categories: Thursday Lit

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