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Poetry

Sunday Sonnet.

I started the Sonnet sequence with the penitential sonnets of Anne Locke, then the Medications of Donne. Both these can be bleak: and most people think that reformed theology is dark, bleak and unremitting. They miss the spark of the divine. There is a comfort in knowing that your soul rests not in any act […]

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Poetry

Lent Poem

This is the final part of Ash Wednesday. It feels as if we are being forced into Lent by a virus beyond Easter: it is akin to Winter without Christmas. But needs must. VI Although I do not hope to turn again Although I do not hope Although I do not hope to turn Wavering […]

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Poetry

Lent Poem

In my view, the time for warning about COVID 19 is over. We are moving into the shutdown, and too many people fear silence: for in silence you have to deal with the resources you have in your soul. But our society has ignored the soul: it has not fed it with beauty or truth […]

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Poetry

Lent Poem IV

You are reformed and ignore the liturgical colours, and the symbols of Mary (though Eliot would have not) and the need to redeem the time: work out our salvation. For the exile will be silence: death awaits eventually, though this is the start of a dark age, and that is another kind of exile. IV […]

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Poetry

Lent Poem III

In Lent, this should not need a commentary. III At the first turning of the second stair I turned and saw below The same shape twisted on the banister Under the vapour in the fetid air Struggling with the devil of the stairs who wears The deceitul face of hope and of despair. At the […]

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Poetry

Lenten Poem II

Continuing with Ash Wednesday. Eliot was a master of symbols: the white Lady is the virgin: the object of Catholic Veneration for many a soldier/scholar and physician/monk, but not, the woman of righteousness who venerates the virgin and was the sister who chose a religious life (for white reflects purity). He is reflecting on the […]

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Poetry

Sunday Sonnet.

Finding the sonnets of Hopkins is a bit of a challenge. But here is another one. ‘I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day’ I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day. What hours, O what black hours we have spent This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went! […]

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Poetry

As one becomes older evolution fails: Poetry.

Eliot was writing in a time of crisis: as an American living among the English, before there was a formal alliance, there would have been a certain distance between him and his neighbour. Not from lack of good will, but a question of loyalty. Yes, the Yanks had helped in the first war, but by […]

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Poetry

Sunday Sonnet.

We may not be in Lent, yet, but Hopkins found that the season of psychological torment did not follow the churchly calendar. He calls despair comforting. To give up. To let the disciplines of your commitment fall apart. Instead he takes up his cross, splinters in his shoulder, and marches on. Carrion Comfort Not, I’ll […]

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Poetry

Wednseday Complicate Kipple: A Sestina.

You generally do not think of the Sestina as a mode for popular Poetry. But Kipling was able to do it, using the vernacular of the working man. Sestina of the Tramp-Royal Speakin’ in general, I ’ave tried ’em all— The ’appy roads that take you o’er the world. Speakin’ in general, I ’ave found […]