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Holy Communion

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Faculty for feeling stars like powers

To know bravado, while imagination

Guides us among the fleet, assertive flowers.

But we were meant for more than this. A passion

Teaches us ecstasy and how to pause

Within our central place in all creation.

Holy Communion

There were some miracles intended to

Save us from too much awe and wonderment.

How simple are the things a priest must do

To close Christ in a simple element.

The Round of Bread is so

Tiny, thin and white. It almost makes

Us feel we must protect the Godhead when

The Host looks like what any woman bakes

For her small family. The wisest man

Says nothing when he takes

The little wafer. What can any word

Explain of this kind, gentle element?

Silence is the way God is adored.

Vaster than galaxies, this sacrament

Holds Bethlehem’s young Lord.

The Spirit’s Power

All the sheen and cut, the tied, the true

Of almost anything I praise and watch.

I clap my hands when Nature shows her due

Respect for us but how does spirit go

On? Strip off each trying sense, think how

The spirit works. It has its own success

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5 HUMANISM AND SPIRITUALITY

Kenneth Verity Shepheard-Walwyn ePub

IN THE LATER Middle Ages the Italian cities lost for the most part their political independence and their communal institutions. However, as a result of the economic prosperity won in the previous period and continued in this, they generated and patronized a host of writers, scholars, and artists. This great output of cultural activity became the Italian Renaissance. Major family dynasties like the Medici were influential in this stimulation and patronage of the Arts.

It could be said that the spiritual essence of the religious, moral, and political structure of the Middle Ages found its essential expression in three principal ways:

• Philosophy

The encyclopaedic Summae of Albertus
    Magnus and Thomas Aquinas.

• Art

The French Gothic cathedrals of the 12th and 13th centuries.

• Poetry

The Divine Comedy of Dante.

The late Middle Ages and the next great civilizing development in Europe had certain quite specific characteristics. The artistic, literary, and scientific revival or rebirth (Renaissance) which originated in Italy in the 14th century influenced the rest of Europe in a variety of ways for the next two centuries. Its principal themes were:

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Medium 9781857549867

The Poetry of Stone: Pentre Ifan

Clarke, Gillian Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

The Poetry of Stone: Pentre Ifan

Stones, hauled from the mountain, set upright, steadied and rammed tight into the ground to bear the great weight of the capstone. Seen from below across the fields against the sky, the cromlech is an awesome sight, yet familiar. We know it as we know the letters of the alphabet. It has become the very sign for the word ‘stone’.

But it is not just a monument, not just an arrangement of huge stones. It is somehow, whatever we mean by the word, holy. A place sacred in the same way as the little Celtic church on the cliff above the sea at Mwnt, or the Cathedral at St Davids. It is the human mark on it and the human design of the stones that catch our breath. What vision impelled them beyond themselves, against the odds to go to such lengths of strength and ingenuity, to endure such hardship to bring vast blocks down from the mountain to build this tomb? In the fourth millennium BC, a group of

Neolithic people were moved to collaborate on the mighty work of raising one of our earliest public monuments. They had settled the slope at the eastern end of the Preseli mountains to cultivate crops and keep their animals. Yet food and shelter were not enough. Above them, the stones of Carn Meini, an outcrop on the hill, stood ready for quarrying. It is fine granite, hard igneous rock.

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65 and this is God

Gallas, John Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF
Medium 9781847770684

Old Age

Elizabeth Jennings Carcanet Press Ltd. PDF

Here; there’s no end either at second-hand

Or else within

Oneself, or both. I want to understand

But just begin

When something startling, wounding comes again.

Oh heal my friend.

There should be peace for gentle ones, not pain.

Bring her an end

Of suffering, or let us all protest

And realise

It is the good who often know joy least.

I fight against the size

And weight of such a realisation, would

Prefer no answers trite

As this; but feeling that I’ve understood,

I can accept, not fight.

Old Age

You were quite silent till the doctor came

Kindly to question, breaking through your thoughts.

And were you glad that he recalled your name,

Asked you about your pets,

Or would you rather doze there, much the same

As some old cat or dog, some lump of fur

Beside the fire, unmoving and unmoved,

Grateful that no one made you speak or stir,

Yet wanting to be loved

And finding it in warm sheets and soft chair?

You know who gives real kindness, none the less,

Not to child’s shouting like some old ones do.

You feel for certain hands as though to bless,

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