Saturday, 23 June 2012

Day 2: Prayer

Carol Ann Duffy is one of my favourite poets. Her language is simple but supple and it perfectly slings home the theme of her poems. I love her directness and the unflinching manner of her words. Their rhythm and power.

This poem 'Prayer' is a favourite amongst many people. Here is poetry as consolation, awareness, knowing.  'Some days,although we cannot pray, a prayer utters itself.' And more often that not, that prayer is poetry, the 'sudden gift' of a recognition, a revelation, a truth.

(Read more on Carol Ann Duffy here)

Prayer - Carol Ann Duffy

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

(from Mean Time [Anvil, 1994])


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