My neighbour and friend at Harvard, who was training to be a priest, recently gave me a book on David Jones. Jones’ poems In Parenthesis and Anathemata are great works I come back to time and again. They are not easy first reading but very rewarding.
From In Parenthesis, part 7
And to Private Ball it came as if a rigid beam of great weight
flailed about his calves, caught from behind by ballista-baulk
let fly or aft-beam slewed to clout gunnel-walker
below below below.
When golden vanities make about,
you’ve got no legs to stand on.
He thought it disproportionate in its violence considering
the fragility of us.
The warm fluid percolates between his toes and his left boot
fills, as when you tread in a puddle–he crawled away in the
Turning to economic woes, I’ve only just been made aware of my friend, Leigh Caldwell’s blog on economic and related subjects, called Know and Making. He runs his own business and comments from the front lines, so to speak.
In the tide of reading a lot of commentary on the current state of the economy I rediscovered a poem from Ecclesiastes and with my recent correspondence with my priest friend on transubstantiation I thought appropriate for these times. (I amalgamate the translations somewhat).
To everything – a season, and a time to every delight under the heavens:
A time to be born, and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck the planted.
A time to slay, and a time to heal. A time to break down, and a time to build up.
A time to cry, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter away stones, and a time to pile up stones. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embracing.
A time to seek, and a time to destroy. A time to keep, and a time to throw away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate. A time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3. [Young’s literal / King James / Yeoh translation]