Tag Archives: poetry
We continue reading poems by Radclyffe Hall. A great deal of her work has not aged well, but we have collected these in Agnellus’ Mirror because they invite us to reflect.
This scrap of verse comments on giving the Human will full expression. Singers, dancers, writers, artists in any field; parents, teachers, carers: we will be more effective in our work if we combine mind and heart, intellect and soul; if we bring our whole selves to the work.
Sing with your intellect and soul combined;
Not all technique, nor yet all wild emotion,
Thus shall you touch the heart and please the mind,
Winning a real and merited devotion.
Radclyffe Hall lived in Sussex; this window of King David and others singing is in Sussex’s Cathedral at Chichester.
Another poem from Radclyffe Hall, sometime parishioner at Saint Anthony’s, Rye.
Continuing with Father Andrew SDC.
It is to me a comfort to think that the most natural thing in the whole world is also the most supernatural, and that is love.
The Life and Letters of Father Andrew, p159.
And turning now to the Welsh poet, W.H. Davies, to amplify that thought.
Love is a staff, and Love’s a rod,
A wise man and a fool;
I thought that I was wise, until
Love sent me back to school.
The Song of Love IV, 1926.
Let’s pray for the humility to go back to school and learn from those we meet. God loves us, ‘supernaturally’ as we used to say, through their natural love for us, whether as spouse, parent, child, friend, or the one who smiles at us in the ticket office.
If you shut your door to all errors truth will be shut out.
Stray Birds CXXX
Which is surely one reason Pope Francis called for a Year of Mercy. Any door can be a holy door, if we step through it to find truth or to share it.
“We, the rustling leaves, have a voice that answers the storms, but who are you, so silent?”
“I am a mere flower.”
Stray Birds XXIII
Saint Thérèse says:
‘Jesus multiplied his graces in his little flower – he who cried out during his mortal life “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”’ (Luke 10: 21)
That I exist is a perpetual surprise which is life.
Stray Birds XXII
Or in the words of the Welsh Poet W.H. Davies:
Good Morning Life and all things glad and beautiful.
I fully realise that for you, reader, maybe this is not the way you feel today. Certainly not ‘all things glad and beautiful.’ WHD knew suffering as a tramp, an amputee and a homeless hostel dweller before he was helped to become a full time writer. ‘What is this life if full of care …’ was written from experience.
‘… we have no time to stand and stare?’ Davies continues. It is no bad discipline to make time to stand and stare at any moment, or sit and reflect at day’s end. There is never a day without something to be grateful for: a smile, a star, sunshine on waves, an unseasonably early flower, dust motes dancing in a beam of light. And more small mercies to come tomorrow.
May the Lord grant us a quiet night and a perfect end. Amen.
I cannot choose the best.
The best chooses me.
Stray Birds XX
I cannot always explain why a particular picture ends up with a post on this blog. Yesterday’s picture of the shadows was one I had on file, waiting for the right words. They came. Today’s jumped out of the file as I flicked through. ‘Of course! It’s about mercy!’ I said. The best chose me, even when I was not feeling at all capable of choosing the best.
So, take courage. When all was about to fall apart, the best told his disciples:
You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Listen, my heart,
to the whispers of the world
with which it makes love to you.
Stray Birds XIII, Collected Poems and Plays p288.
And love the world in return, the people in it but love also our common home, Laudato Si’!
The spine of the book caught my eye; I had not opened it for a year or more:’collected Poems and Plays of Rabindranath Tagore’ (MacMillan, 1952). This Bengali poet (1861-1941) has been a favourite of my mother’s for many years. I particularly like his short, proverb-like verses. AS the Biblical book of Proverbs has it: ‘The fruit of the just man is a tree of life: and he that gaineth souls, is wise.’ (11.30) Tagore was a just man, respected by many in the West as well as in India. Many of his works are to be found at Project Gutenberg.