Venantius Fortunatus Reading His Poems to Radegonda VI. Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1862).
Yeah, I know. I haven't been blogging much recently. Mostly the reason is that I've been working very hard on the dissertation. At the same time, I think I'm more in a period of taking in ideas and impressions than of writing them down.
I have been reading Candles in Babylon by Denise Levertov. Great book, she is an amazing poet. According to Wikipedia, she converted to Catholicism in the last decade of her life. When I read that, I tried to remember what other poets have converted to my religion. All I can think of right now are Gerard Manly Hopkins and Robert Lowell, but something tells me there are more. Does anyone out there have some names?
UPDATE: Okay, we will drop out Robert Lowell as nothing more than a spiritual tourist and start the list, which will be updated as more suggestions roll in:
1. Denise Levertov
2. Gerard Manly Hopkins
3. Thomas Merton
4. Oscar Wilde
5. Paul Claudel
I'm not doing this to create a kind of triumphalist "who have the Catholics bagged?" list. Rather, I ask myself if their is something about Catholicism (the liturgy, the tradition, the stories, the mystery, the physicality, etc.) that may be especially appealing to poets. Please write in with more suggestions.
UPDATE 2: CowboyAngel is right. I had a conversion experience in prison after shooting Rimbaud. He was in Reno and I shot him just to watch him die.
UPDATE 3: Lee has added many to the list, including Chesterton who (I was not aware of this) also wrote poetry.