It is an extraordinary poem, because it is a ceremonial in itself, in its own right. I urge you to read it because it feels as if an organ is playing it, as if a prophet is proclaiming it.
It is a personal response to the death of the child but it identifies the poet as part of the whole human race: “Myselves”, a Greek chorus of grievers, a collective of sadness and despair.
The child is not named. He or she is anonymous. A symbol of sacrifice. “Myselves” grieve and the grief itself is confessional. Grief is guilt. Grievers are also “believers”. The poet is the spokesperson. The poet is the priest.
Us your death that myselves the believers
May hold it in a great flood
Till the blood shall spurt …
It is the poet - and through the poet, the people - that can say this, that can feel this, that can act on this.
Right now, the politicians are cynically playing with words, insulting us with passionless pretension and ruthless refusal to acknowledge the truth of the actions and reactions.
Beginning crumbled back to darkness
Bare as nurseries
Of the garden of wilderness.
Today from the everysmith vaults: I need to declare an interest. Gareth Brynmor John is my nephew. I am listening again to his interview and performance with Alis on Radio 3. It is still available on Sounds (In Tune 5pm Friday 3rd) and I commend it to you.