An anthology of 100 poems written in the past 100 years, with readerly responses on each from Rowan Williams, is a kind of autobiography of the archbishop’s roving mind. Titled ‘A Century of Poetry’, the book’s subtitle gets to the point with the claim that we are “searching the heart.” This is not a best-of or my-favourites collection, but one where poems “open the door to some fresh, searching, and challenging insights about the life of faith.”
into the only whole thinking: poetry.
Rowan applauds Murray’s avoidance of cliché, chiming in with his shared view that “poetry aims to do in a small space what religion does in a large, communal and historically extended space: to hold a mirror to a formidable range of shifting, threatening, exhilarating ‘givens’ that require us to adjust to their presence and make sense of them.” This is another way of meeting and enjoying the many ideas and experiences offered here. I have briefly quoted just five poems that are part of an ongoing conversation Rowan Williams generates in this book. The invitation is there to pick up a line, a verse and see where it takes you.