20th September

I mentioned poetry yesterday and then by chance I was introduced to two new poems today. One was Forgetfulness by Billy Collins and the other by a parishioner written for her mother-in-law who died recently and both very moving about old age and death. Every so often I get drawn back to poetry. I once thought I could write some myself but soon gave up on that. However I cannot deny the power of poetry. I have just started Simon Schama’s series on The Romantics and Us on TV and the power of art including poetry is something that gets overlooked so easily. There is a way, like painting, that it can speak to depths in us, and do so avoiding the censor’s objections in difficult times, that can move not just individuals but also whole groups of people. In the first of Schama’s series I was particularly moved by the street poet reciting William Blake and finding Blake’s work so expressive of what he wanted to protest about today, and then Byron on the Peterloo Massacre. It is no wonder that 2500 years later the psalms still have relevance for us.

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