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Word From Wormingford

RichardB on August 8th, 2014

Ronald Blythe waits for the summer to break, and goes barefoot   THE current shelling of an Eastern city brings Milton’s Samson Agonistes into my head. “Eyeless in Gaza, at the mill with slaves.” The heroic leader has been seduced, cropped, blinded, but in a moment of God-given return of strength, he is able to pull the house […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 8 August 2014

RichardB on August 8th, 2014

Ronald Blythe always wanted to be alone – and now, in a way, he is WHEN, giving a hostage to fortune, I recklessly announce that I do not take holidays, meaning that I don’t have a fortnight in Spain, or Felixstowe, the reply is: “But your life is all holiday!” So much for the years at […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 1 August 2014

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