James Matthew Wilson

Conservative Prosody
By James Matthew Wilson on November 01, 2010

I would like to propose two reasons that conservatives ought to take an interest in verse, one historical and the other ethical.  Following them, I should like to offer as a teaching resource a guide to verisification (prosody) that the reader may find of interest as a means of understanding this seldom taught craft and that the professor of good will is welcome to use as a booklet to distribute to students.


The Classroom as Privileged and Sacred Place
By James Matthew Wilson on April 01, 2010


A college or university classroom should be understood in at least two ways: as a privileged place and as a sacred place.  It is privileged because the professor comes to it to offer what he can of the gift of knowledge, and it is privileged because all who enter are students, that is to say, persons who seek to know the true, the good, and the beautiful and so to become wise.  At Villanova, the classroom is also a form of sacred place.  Because any university or college seeks to elevate the human reason to its fulfillment, it is charged with helping in the raising of that reason above itself, to its finality, its entelechy, its end. 


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about the author

James Matthew Wilson
James Matthew Wilson

From Front Porch Republic:

James Matthew Wilson teaches in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University. He has authored many essays on philosophical-theology and literature, and is currently at work on two books: T.S. Eliot, Jacques Maritain, and the Return to the Real and Our Steps amid a Ruined Colonnade, the latter of which is running serially in Contemporary Poetry Review. A poet, and critic of contemporary poetry, some of his work has appeared in The Dark Horse, Modern Age, Lucid Rhythms and Measure. He is also the author of a regular column, The Treasonous Clerk, which is published in First Principles.

Raised in the Great Lakes State, baptised in the parish of St. Thomas Aquinas, seasoned by summers on Lake Wawasee (Indiana), and educated under the Golden Dome, Wilson is scion of a family of Hoosiers dating back to the early nineteenth century, and an offspring of Southside Chicago Poles whose tavern kept the city wet through the Depression (and prohibition) years.  He now lives under the same sentence of reluctant exile as many another native son of the Midwest, and keeps a happy face in Devon, Pennsylvania with his beautiful wife, dangerous daughter, and scrupulous son.  More faithful to tradition even than he, his wife and daughter both hail from South Bend, Indiana, and pine for the open spaces and the ethanol inflected air.  He is proud to be associated, by grace of marriage and taste of palette, with the family that runs the Wyncroft Winery out of Buchanan, Michigan.