O for a Thousand Hymns to Sing! by Anthony Esolen

Illuminations

O for a Thousand Hymns to Sing!

by Anthony Esolen

When I tell people that the Christian churches possess thousands of excellent hymns, most of them neglected or forgotten, they narrow their eyes and seem skeptical. They might question my taste in lyrics, but I tell them I have been teaching poetry for more than thirty years, and what I read and teach spans three millennia and a good dozen languages and cultures.

I won't get into why so few of our contemporaries can write a competent hymn, much less a fine one. The reasons have to . . .