Pure poetry


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I love this poem by gloomy Welsh vicar RS Thomas.  It seems to say it all for Good Friday. It’s called The Coming.

RS Thomas wrote a lot of desolate poems describing struggle, silence, harsh lives and sheer toil. But for me he captures reality and truth, however uncomfortable, and expresses it in non-Biblical language. The last line rings round my head a lot. See what you think!

* * *
And God held in his hand
A small globe. Look he said.
The son looked. Far off,
As through water, he saw
A scorched land of fierce
Colour. The light burned
There; crusted buildings
Cast their shadows: a bright
Serpent, A river
Uncoiled itself, radiant
With slime.
On a bare
Hill a bare tree saddened
The sky. Many People
Held out their thin arms
To it, as though waiting
For a vanished April
To return to its crossed
Boughs. The son watched
Them. Let me go there, he said.


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