Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Rowan Williams on art and life. The man is a genius, as well as a hero and a fine writer. He's one of the few individuals in public life whose general treatment by the media and punditocracy - not to mention the more putrid corners of his own church - genuinely enrages me. In particular I hate the cynical way that whenever the rightwing press has something unpleasant to say about him, they always reproduce a picture of him being made a member of Gorsedd y Beirdd in 1997. They might as well caption the pictures: 'Look at the woolly Welshman in the teatowel! Ho ho, druids is it, eh? Looks a bit pagan to me, don't you think?!' One can imagine them in the Telegraph newsroom, secularists all, sniggering sotto voce, 'Ha, this'll get the Evangelicals riled up...' It encourages the despicable, hateful idiots who send Jane Williams (a fine theologian in her own right) faeces through the post, apparently reducing her to tears on more than one occasion. As that one-man-apocalypse Robert Mugabe said of homosexuals, these people are worse than dogs and pigs. (A favourite phrase of mine, nowawdays. So useful.)
On a deeper note, also from Rowan Williams' website is the following, an excellent poem for the season.
He will come like last leaf's fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud's folding.
He will come like frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.
He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the star-snowed fields of sky.
He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breaking,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like child.