22 March 2018

Poetry Thursday - Delay by Elizabeth Jennings

Calligraphy practice (rediscovered)

The radiance of the star that leans on me
Was shining years ago. The light that now
Glitters up there my eyes may never see,
And so the time lag teases me with how

Love that loves now may not reach me until
Its first desire is spent. The star's impulse
Must wait for eyes to claim it beautiful
And love arrived may find us somewhere else.

Elizabeth Jennings (1946-2001) was noted for her clarity of style and simplicity of literary approach. Her Roman Catholicism coloured much of her work. She lived since childhood in Oxford, studying at St Anne's College and working in advertising, a library, and publishing before becoming a full-time writer. Her  devotion to poetry yielded more than 20 books during her life, and New Collected Poems appeared in 2002.

I first encountered the poem via "Poetry on the Tube" - probably on the Victoria Line in the 90s - and it immediately became one of my favourites, to the point where I wanted to "possess" it more fully by using it (about 1997) to practice calligraphy. 

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