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Word From Wormingford

RichardB on July 25th, 2014

Ronald Blythe delights in seeing a scythe used to cut the orchard grass SULTRY July days. Twin calendars rule them: the lectionary, and a writer’s. Thus our trip to Helpston, the birthplace of the great rural poet John Clare. It is exactly as we left it last year, except that a strange additional memorial rises over […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 25 July 2014

RichardB on July 18th, 2014

Ronald Blythe visits the home village of one of England’s greatest poets   OFF to Helpston for the 32nd time. For John Clare, its native voice, the first Sunday in July was the Helpston feast: “Wrestling and fighting, the ploughman’s fame is still kept up with the usual determined spirit.” Like his contemporary, William Hazlitt, […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 18 July 2014

RichardB on July 18th, 2014

In a graveyard, Ronald Blythe sees old friends coming up the path   CONSIDERING that the majority of churchyards witness to 1000 years of tears, it is strange that they are so pleasant to visit, to wander in, to sit in on a summer’s day. “Peaceful”, the visitors book says over and over again. Peaceful […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 11 July 2014

RichardB on July 5th, 2014

Ronald Blythe preaches about prison writers, and smells cake and flowers   AND from Anglican matins to East Anglian Nonconformity at Walpole Old Chapel on a burning Sunday afternoon. The cornfields sizzle, and the familiar scenes hurry by. I mount the pulpit to talk about John Bunyan. We sing “He who would valiant be” with Tony […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 4 July 2014

RichardB on June 28th, 2014

Ronald Blythe sings one of Heber’s hymns, and considers the Trinity   DUNCAN and I agree: it is a growing year. Things grow every year, of course, but not as they do in a growing year. The garden has shot up, gone skyward. Roses look down at me, as indeed does the white cat, who is […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 27 June 2014

RichardB on June 21st, 2014

A walking tour makes sense if you are about 20, says Ronald Blythe PENTECOST – 70 days after the resurrection, when the house shakes, and tongues of fire become mitres. The old garden blazes with summer, which is not officially here. Pale-yellow irises, immense red poppies. The white cat hiding from the sun. Jean’s horses swigging […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 20 June 2014

RichardB on June 13th, 2014

Ronald Blythe exhorts members of the congregation to sing   JUNE, and Pentecost. I scythe some of the orchard growth to give the Rambling Rector roses a bit of light and freedom. Tied to greengage trees, they have grown apace. Nesting robins fly around in distress; so I give up. I am invasive. In church, the […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 13 June 2014

RichardB on June 6th, 2014

Ronald Blythe recalls waking up in France, on Ascension Day   MY TRIPLE calendar comes into use, although I hope not into repetition. It consists of the lectionary, my diary, and my dreams. A kind of knitting together of the days. Thus, on the Ascension, I was young and in Vézelay, but getting on a bit […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 6 June 2014

RichardB on May 30th, 2014

Ronald Blythe travels to the place ‘where prayer has been valid’ TO LITTLE GIDDING, the three of us. “You would find the hedges White again, in May, with voluptuary sweetness.” And, of course, we did. Long ago, I attended T. S. Eliot’s memorial service in Westminster Abbey, and heard Sir Alec Guinness read this third Quartet […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 30 May 2014

RichardB on May 23rd, 2014

Ronald Blythe visits a beach where every stone tells a tale IT HAS been one of those bursting-with-life May weeks, thus the apologetic smiles of the old friends in the obituary column of the newspaper. “We didn’t mean to go in May!” A memorial service will be announced later. I see their houses, hear their voices. […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 23 May 2014