Tag: faith

westward, look…

I left you last week with the promise of handrails and lifelines. Ta-daa! Here they are: ‘Say not the struggle nought availeth’, another poem straight out of the C19th’s death-throes-of-faith anguish which has, however, long performed the handrail/lifeline functions for me. You can read the poem here and or last week’s reader can read it for you here. Alternatively, Derek Jacobi reads it here; I much prefer his reading but could do without the music. The poem is there to create the mood all by its little self, after all. However… See what you think.

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handrails and lifelines and emergency lanterns

In an article in The Times in 2016 Libby Purves wrote of how ‘[p]eople have been through everything before us and some, by great grace, have recorded it with undying power. English-speakers are particularly lucky,’ she continued, ‘since some of the very best have done this in our fabulously hybrid, magpie language… [Poets] have crafted handrails and lifelines and emergency lanterns. They reassure us that others walked this hard trail and lived to express it’.

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