Wednesday 19 November 2008


In work-engulfed times like these, the mind (well, mine anyway) seeks escape and solace by wandering off to revisit happier times and pleasanter scenes, taking a few moments' mental stroll in well loved country or loitering briefly in, say, a fondly remembered church. Also at such times, the hand (my hand anyway) reaches out to the bookshelf to see what it might find. Last night I took down Peter Porter''s classic collection The Cost of Seriousness, opened it and found this poem, which, for me, did the double, offering what might be called the consolations of poetry - something to do with emotion (here, as throughout the collection, grief) caught and given shape in a grid of formal, controlled language - while taking me back to a great church that, once seen, is truly never forgotten. There's an unusually good account of its wonders here.

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