Our Last Awakening
at our last awakening,
into the house and gate of heaven . . .’
John Donne’s prayer speaks of the hope and promise of a life with God that embraces us beyond death as well as during our time on earth. However, people of faith are not exempt from fears, fantasies and speculation, nor from the normal sequence of grief reactions that afflict bereaved human beings.
Poetry, whether or not it is consciously religious, can help. In this selection of poems and thoughtful commentaries, Janet Morley offers an enriching approach to a subject we might prefer to avoid contemplating – our ordinary mortality. Here you will find the work of Dylan Thomas, Gillian Clarke, Philip Larkin, U. A. Fanthorpe, Seamus Heaney, Ann Griffiths, Jane Kenyon, Anne Stevenson, A. K. Ramanujan, Richard Baxter, George Herbert, Roger McGough and many more. Ranging in tone from joyful and ecstatic to gentle, ironic, despairing and even hilarious, these writers help us to look at death, accompany the dying, celebrate those who have died, and articulate our hope about what lies beyond. As a result, we have an opportunity to experience the whole range of human emotions about what it means to live, to love and to be loved.
Janet Morley’s selection of poems and her interpretation of them offers a way of meeting death, and all its consequences for our lives, which is challenging, sensitive and profound. This book takes us very close to the deepest questions we all have to face.
The Heart's Time and Haphazard by Starlight: Morley brings to her writing the poet’s sensitivity to language, the critic’s capacity to analyse and interpret, the theologian’s discernment of the sacred, and the teacher’s ability to communicate insight in fresh and memorable ways.