Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

The Giddings

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

The Giddings

Article excerpt

It is still and grave, here, now;

the grass is summer-dense, and Constable's

heady clouds consume the sky. Beside

the hedgerows, spires shepherd

along the past, with those interred

beneath the stones of St. Johns

Church-the sacramental stones that burned

with tongues of fire, for Farrar,

then Herbert, later Eliot, and others

who designed their works and words

around community. We have come here,

not knowing what we came for,

as we came to life-drawn on toward an end,

a meaning, while the locust plague

of history devours the century's

last, forsaken years. On the airfields

of East Anglia, the avenging angels

of the Dresden firestorms have vanished,

but the ossuaries fed by madmen's arrogance

defile the city of belief.

Where is the flame that purifies,

the needle plying for the Lord, the Hower

of prayer? The compass narrows,

when the burden is the sacred words, beyond

reach; for without a language

of redemption, time cannot seek redeeming.

If desire can draw God down again,

it will be through the world,

in all its green serenity, and love of things

that are, which feels itself as stone

among the stones, a surface with the light

and shade in converse. …

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