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Word From Wormingford

RichardB on September 12th, 2014

Ronald Blythe reflects on the pleasure of being caught in the rain   SUMMER rain – warm, drenching. It catches me up before I can get to the house, a familiar sensation since boyhood, briefly a plight, then a pleasure. The rain it raineth every day, but only a little. Not like today, when it […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 12 September 2014

RichardB on September 5th, 2014

Ronald Blythe gives thanks for the summers he has enjoyed during his life THE peerless August goes its way: day after day of sunshine, the garden heavy with scents, the churches, too. St Paul tells us “not to murmur”; the News tells us ghastly things. In his Diary, Francis Kilvert tells me what he did […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 5 September 2014

RichardB on September 5th, 2014

Ronald Blythe walks through blackberry-blossomed churchyards “AUGUST for the people!” cried the democratic Auden. August for staying at home, I say. Once it was August for Cornwall, those north headlands void of visitors which ranged on and on to Devon. A friend awakened these westward longings when a week in Totnes made her restless for […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 29 August 2014

RichardB on September 5th, 2014

Ronald Blythe takes in his late-summer garden, leaning on a new stick ELEGIAC days. I have been given an ash-plant walking stick that John Masefield cut from a hedge on the Western Front. He was a medical orderly. I lean on it in the peaceful August garden. The poplars sing in hushed voices. It has […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 22 August 2014

RichardB on September 5th, 2014

Ronald Blythe returns from matins to find three poets in his garden HAVING preached on St Mary Magdalene at matins, I returned home to find three Persian poets in the garden. Having told my young neighbours that I once lived near Boulge, the Suffolk village where Edward FitzGerald translated The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, they had […]

Continue reading about Word from Wormingford – 15 August 2014

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