Sunday, May 17, 2009

Book #2: Joyous Gard

This is an older book, probably published somewhere in the late 1800s based on references to poets like Walt Whitman, that was written by a man named Arthur Christopher (A.C.) Benson. Benson was an English poet and essayist, quite prolific and well-known in his day, but not typically known by us. He wrote this book, Joyous Gard, as an encouragement for modern man to live a more joyful and thoughtful life.

I happened across the title of this book while cruising the Internet one night, looking for blogs to read I suppose. I found the website Thinking in Ink, which was based on the ideas of Joyous Gard. Incidentally, in case you were wondering, the name "Joyous Gard" refers to Sir Lancelot's castle in Arthurian legend-- a place where he went to be rejuvenated and restored. The author of the site Thinking in Ink, Levi Hill, explains the title:
Arthur Christopher Benson, uses this mythical place as a metaphor for the place where we should all return, a place in the mind full of beauty, insight and great restorative power. It is the place that, at one time or another, each of us has visited. Its many rooms and corridors aren’t, therefore, unfamiliar. It is the place (or frame of mind) from which the world seems to hold a high purpose and heavenly beauty. It is the place from which “everything seems okay,” where there is safety and joy.
It's effectively written as a collection of essays-- philosophical, faith-based, generally intellectual in nature, the writing is beautiful in ways that only older English prose can be, and is both thought-provoking and motivational in its encouragement to live a more fulfilling life.

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