During Lent, Members and Companions of SSM met to recite Morning Prayer and have their thoughts directed by a poem.
The sessions took place St Michael and All Angels Priory every Thursday, with SSM’s theological consultant The Reverend Dr Phillip Tolliday choosing a poem for the day.
‘Using poetry as an avenue into theological pondering allowed us to meditate upon mortality, ageing, the beauty of nature and the dispositions of laughter, anger, weariness, joy and fear, which are so much part of us and so often taken for granted’, says Phillip.
Poets selected: R S Thomas, Charlotte Mew, William Blake, Philip Larkin, Edith Scovell and Kerry Hardie.
According to Phillip, as varied and different as the poems were, they shared one trait in common: each poet had an astute grasp of the world.
‘Poets notice things; they attend to the world around them thereby drawing our attention to things that might often escape our notice. As we read these poems and reflected upon them we were constantly arrested by their attentiveness not only to the world of nature, but also to its glimmers of transcendence and not least of all to the traces of transcendence that we glimpsed within ourselves.’
Each session was followed by morning tea/lunch in the Priory, at 196 East Terrace.