The Ballad of the White Horse

The Ballad of the White Horse is an epic poem by G. K. Chesterton.

The poem narrates how King Alfred (in England) was able to defeat the invading Danes at the Battle of Ethandun with the aid of the Virgin Mary. The Danes are (hopeless) pagans, and king Alfred is (a faithful) Christian.

I consider this a hard poem to read (I’m not an English literature major), but it was highly recommended on Twitter. I found a fun way to listen to an audio reading, and read it simultaneously, while I was folding Christmas boxes.

My strategy: For each chapter (‘book’) I read a short synopsis/summary from, for example, Wikipedia. (This wonderful story does not have a tricky, plot.) Then I would have two browsers open, one with the audio reading, and one with the text. See the screenshot.

“The poem in its fullness is a masterpiece about the perfect, objective, and eternal light that must be preserved by civilization from the slow creeping weeds of [pagan] darkness ever looming and threatening to overtake the light.”

The total amount of time needed to listen to it is about 114 minutes. Under two hours. Make a pot of coffee or tea.

I like a good story with a Christian message. (Having it read by a professional was a lot better than trying to render the poetry myself.)

LibraVox. Gutenberg.