Arts Articles

Peace

12 May 2022 | by Voirrey Faragher

'The peace lily in my bathroom has one white flower: it bows down like a white flag.' |

The peace lily in my bathroom has one white flower:           it bows down like a white flag. We have not known peace,             do not know its contours, its colours, whether it is shaped like the earth, like the sky...

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The Gospels: A new translation, by Sarah Ruden

05 May 2022 | by Jonathan Wooding

'Jesus arrives in our imaginations via the word. Our imagination shapes such characters mysteriously and, we find, mysteriously they shape us.' | Book cover of The Gospels: A new translation, by Sarah Ruden

Like Scrooge, Elizabeth Bennett and Sherlock Holmes, Jesus arrives in our imaginations via the word. Our imagination shapes such characters mysteriously and, we find, mysteriously they shape us. They may not have a life without us, but equally we would not be who we are without them.

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Muting for worship, a Shakespearean sonnet from the pandemic

05 May 2022 | by Glenn Oldham

'Yet though that assured silence is thus freeing, We seek a larger, deeper, vital one.' |

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought, By host assigned, I join the breakout room; My sighs and teacup’s clinks make others fraught, If I neglect to mute myself on Zoom.

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Strange meeting (after Wilfred Owen)

28 April 2022 | by Roger Iredale

'...the shattered trees, broken farmhouse, mounting death of comrades and uneasy brooding peace.' | by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash

And suddenly we came upon fellow men, sipping tea in a basket of darkness underneath a hollowed gentle moon. Their voices overcame the stillness of the silvered glade, the whereabouts of mystery

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The Struggle for India’s Soul: Nationalism and the fate of democracy, by Shashi Tharoor

28 April 2022 | by Reg Naulty

‘The idea of one-person rule in India is absurd.’ | Book cover (and detail) of The Struggle for India’s Soul: Nationalism and the fate of democracy, by Shashi Tharoor

This book was precipitated by Narendra Modi’s second term as prime minister of India. The country is becoming more autocratic, like Hungary and Turkey. The title suggests that something mystical, or at least spiritual, is in danger of being lost, but that is not what Shashi Tharoor is arguing...

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The body of truth

21 April 2022 | by Dana Littlepage Smith

'They looked through mists of blood moon, of flood and drought.' | by Altınay Dinç on Unsplash

Each season the cannibals selected one truth to kill.  We eat its eyes, its lungs, the soft seed of the heart. They spoke to us so honestly we asked, ‘And how do you select which truth to sacrifice?  The truth of hatred or of greed?’

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Compassion and suffering: Clive Ashwin has some lessons from the arts

14 April 2022 | by Clive Ashwin

‘Before the modern age we were protected from the force and immediacy of much human suffering by both distance and time.’ | Landscape with Man Killed by a Snake, Nicolas Poussin, 1648

Landscape with Man Killed by a Snake, by the French seventeenth-century painter Nicolas Poussin (on display at the National Gallery, and pictured) tells a curious and macabre story. In the foreground a man lies dead at the edge of a lake, in the coils of a huge serpent. A second...

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Hefted

14 April 2022 | by Angela Arnold

'to stay, stuck – wanting the sort of still that scrambles in search' | by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

to the scittery paths down, up, slant-ways, in a heart race that longs for height, for much more than just ground underfoot

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Once upon an early spring morning

07 April 2022 | by Les Derbyshire

'It was Blackbird who saw it first, Woke to the gold that told of a change in the air.' | by Martial fournier on Unsplash

It was Blackbird who saw it first, Woke to the gold that told of a change in the air. No-one said to unwrap the song That for long dark days had lain unsung. No dress-rehearsal needed, Note-perfect from the first performance.

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Crossing the border

31 March 2022 | by John Lampen

'Yes, this division’s hard to understand— those who pass through it find no promised land— and yet to keep it, hardly knowing why, thousands may die.' | by Marco Bianchetti on Unsplash

Here at the gap a concrete hut, a flag, bored men with guns, the barking of a dog; to either side the barbed wire and the signs BEWARE OF MINES!

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