Sunday, 27 December 2009

Prayer by Carol Ann Duffy

What a beautiful poem - it expresses very well the sudden moments of gratitude for life and love and beauty; the moments when a pattern becomes apparent, even though we know that there is no pattern but the one that we weave out of the moments of beauty and despair and love.

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

Carol Ann Duffy

The Times Saturday Review, 1992

Thanks to monastico for the tip-off.

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