Week 358: Llananno, by R.S.Thomas

I think it is possible for even R.S.Thomas’s greatest admirers, among whom I would certainly count myself, to become a little exasperated at his repetitive and somewhat one-sided conversations with God, and to want to quote the physicist Richard Feynman at him: ‘that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know.’ But in this serenely beautiful poem at least it appears that for once the divinity who so often eluded his questing search is present for him.


I often call there.
There are no poems in it
for me. But as a gesture
of independence of the speeding
traffic I am a part
of, I stop the car,
turn down the narrow path
to the river and enter
the church with its clear reflection
beside it.

There are few services
now; the screen has nothing
to hide. Face to face
with no intermediary
between me and God, and only the water’s
quiet insistence on a time
older than man, I keep my eyes
open and am not dazzled,
so delicately does the light enter
my soul from the serene presence
that waits for me till I come next.



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