Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Requiescat In Pacem

I was dismayed to learn this morning that Mary Daly, feminist theologian/philosopher, and all around Amazon, died last week. Here's a snippet from her obituary:

Brilliant, bawdy and cantankerous, Daly was a theologian who came to prominence with the publication of her first book, "The Church and the Second Sex" (1968), a withering critique of the treatment of women in Roman Catholicism that prompted an unsuccessful effort by the Jesuit-run Boston College to fire her. Denied raises and a full professorship, Daly boycotted faculty meetings, dismissing administrators and colleagues as "bore-ocrats" who suffered from "academentia."

Ms. Daly was a prodigious writer, thinker, and lecturer who moved the radical feminist agenda to the front often enough that people finally began to take the movement as a whole seriously, and she did that by getting people to laugh and to scream in outrage. She could provoke either response effortlessly, she was that good.

Rest in Peace, dear sister and mentor to millions.

A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London

Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness

And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn

The majesty and burning of the child's death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.

Deep with the first dead lies London's daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.

Dylan Thomas


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