A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)

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"The Speaker" Articles

A book I published containing 112 pieces Chesterton wrote for the newspaper "The Speaker" at the beginning of his career.

They are also available for free electronically on another blog of mine here, if you wish to read them that way.




Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wine and Water

Wine and Water

Old Noah he had an ostrich farm and fowls on the largest scale,
He ate his egg with a ladle in a egg-cup big as a pail,
And the soup he took was Elephant Soup and fish he took was Whale,
But they all were small to the cellar he took when he set out to sail,
And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine,
"I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine."

The cataract of the cliff of heaven fell blinding off the brink
As if it would wash the stars away as suds go down a sink,
The seven heavens came roaring down for the throats of hell to drink,
And Noah he cocked his eye and said, "It looks like rain, I think,
The water has drowned the Matterhorn as deep as a Mendip mine,
But I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine."

But Noah he sinned, and we have sinned; on tipsy feet we trod,
Till a great big black teetotaller was sent to us for a rod,
And you can't get wine at a P.S.A., or chapel, or Eisteddfod,
For the Curse of Water has come again because of the wrath of God,
And water is on the Bishop's board and the Higher Thinker's shrine,
But I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine.

-The Flying Inn (1914)

George Bernard Shaw relates a somewhat humorous story concerning this poem in a letter he wrote to Chesterton concerning an incident that he had witnessed at the headquarters of the Fabian Society:

"As I descended the stairs I was stunned by the most infernal din I have ever heard...coming from the Fabian Hall....On rushing to this temple I found the young enthusiasts sprawling over tables, over radiators, over everything except chairs, in a state of scandalous abandonment, roaring at the tops of their voices and in a quite unintelligible manner a string of presumably obscene songs, accompanied on the piano with frantic gestures and astonishing musical skill by a man whom I had always regarded as a respectable Fabian Researcher...As they went on (for I regret to say that my presence excercised no restraint whatever) they sang their extraordinary and incomprehensible litany to every tune, however august its associations, which happened to fit it...

But I have not told you the worst. Before I fled the building I did at last discover what words it was they were singing. When it first flashed on me, I really could not believe it. But at the end of the next verse no doubt or error was possible. The young maenad nearest me was concluding every strophe by shrieking that she didn't care where the water went if it didn't get into the wine. Now you know.

I have since ascertained that a breviary of this Black Mass can be obtained at the Fabian Office, with notes of the numbers of the hymns Ancient and Modern, and all the airs sacred and profane, to which your poems have been set.

This letter needs no answer- indeed, admits of none. I leave you to your reflections."

(Shaw quote found in Wisdom and Innocence, Joseph Pearce, pp. 223-224)


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