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Not of this Worldview

Author Richard Briggs
Publisher Sacristy £9.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781789591583

This poetry collection brings together attempts made over thirty years to communicate a perception of what its subtitle calls ‘the kingdom among us,’ as ‘Already here…/ And yet still at hand’ by ‘an Englishman who tried to write it all down’ – as a poem on the Vatican City humbly calls the author. This perception infuses poems exploring the experiences of a theological educator and minister reflecting on the journey of life; places (particularly Italy, USA and Durham) and the preoccupations people have in them; the mundane and the overwhelming; light’s penetration of darkness. An ineffable sense of the present and anticipated Kingdom is held in unstated connections between juxtaposed lines or verses, or in the gentle insistence of rhythm and form as they shape ideas, inviting readers to find searches for God in life and for the meaning of a poem parallel experiences. In Briggs’s best work a prayerful confidence lights his unworldly worldview, as in the conclusion to ‘A Light Psalm’: ‘So shine, Lord, shine . . . Be the headlight on my car/ And a streetlight on my way.’

Reviewed by JOHN MOSS

Poetry