12 Poets: The project finishes…

Well, with March now ending I’m pleased to announce that my 12 Poet’s Project has finished. What a year it has been – beginning with 17th century poet and pastor George Herbert and finishing in the 21st century with former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. To celebrate this year of exploring some of the best ChristianContinue reading “12 Poets: The project finishes…”

Søren (After Rowan Williams’ “Rublev”)

The Messiah came one day, tattered in Adam’s rags, ragged and anxious from the moment of sin, sick nearly to death. I said, My father has betrayed you and I have chased dead beauty. Sit ragged with me by my hearth. I too wear scars: do you know them? These the contours that choice hasContinue reading “Søren (After Rowan Williams’ “Rublev”)”

Morning Heart (After Rowan Williams’ “First Thing”)

In my last steps of dream, I am running, carefully conscious of each footstep, prayers in sync with my hesitant freedom. Steps unfold as sun gathers mind up; day summons up the light to enter, to command. Yet first the halfway time, the thought that what the day holds in its hands can hurt moreContinue reading “Morning Heart (After Rowan Williams’ “First Thing”)”

Concerto No.4 (After Rowan Williams’ “Bach for the Cello”)

Bach’s ‘Cello Suites are for me the supreme example of contemplation in music. They don’t deal with the emotions very much, there is nothing spectacular but just a single line unfolding itself. And I always see it as a kind of silver line in the middle of darkness… Rowan Williams As a child, I adoredContinue reading “Concerto No.4 (After Rowan Williams’ “Bach for the Cello”)”

Now I tell you (After Rowan Williams’ “Great Sabbath”)

Well, it’s high time that I got down to sharing with you some of the quite extraordinary poetry of former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. When Williams became Archbishop, many were unsure of his theology or what he stood for in his faith. Yet read his poetry and you see that, at heart, he isContinue reading “Now I tell you (After Rowan Williams’ “Great Sabbath”)”

An Absolutely Ordinary Poet

February now over, it is time to offer one final celebration of Les Murray’s poetry, before moving onto our next – and final – poet in the 12 Poets Project. Here is a short reflection on some of the qualities I value most in Murray’s work. I hope it is a fitting conclusion to ourContinue reading “An Absolutely Ordinary Poet”

Sprawl: For Les Murray (and Bach)

February is a short month, and so sadly I am having to speed up our journey through Les Murray’s poetry. My final poem for the month is an original work written in response to this interview with Murray from Image (Winter 2009-10) as well as Murray’s own description, in a personal letter, of his visit toContinue reading “Sprawl: For Les Murray (and Bach)”

Schoolyard Grace (After Les Murray’s “Equanimity”)

It is with slight trepidation that I tackle Les Murray’s masterful poem “Equanimity”. For one thing, it is my girlfriend’s favourite Murray poem, so I would hate to destroy it for her. It is also a very complex poem, with a challenging style to imitate. But the central idea – the beauties of common graceContinue reading “Schoolyard Grace (After Les Murray’s “Equanimity”)”

First Things Last (After “Incorrigible Grace”)

For my next response to Les Murray’s poetry, I’ve chosen a deceptively simple four-line poem as my starting point. I suspect Murray’s poem speaks for itself. I hope that mine does too. First Things Last (After “Incorrigible Grace”) Saint Vincent de Paul, old friend, my sometime tailor, I daresay by now you are feeding theContinue reading “First Things Last (After “Incorrigible Grace”)”

Passacaglia in G Minor (After Les Murray’s “An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow”)

For those who have not encountered Les Murray’s poetry before, his work always strikes me with the way in which it blends profundity with earthiness. One of his most beautiful poems for me is his “An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow”, a description of a man crying in the middle of Sydney’s city centre, his tears somehowContinue reading “Passacaglia in G Minor (After Les Murray’s “An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow”)”