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Poetry For Advent

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Christmas With Emily Dickinson
emily dickinson
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What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No truer words were ever put into poetry than in the opening lines of 'Leisure' by William Henry Davies. So often we let ignore the beauty of the world and forget to contemplate the gifts of life. We are too busy caught up in work or other concerns that we don't have a chance to breathe.

Christmas is a particularly hectic time. Although it is the holidays, everyone seems busier than ever: buying presents, preparing lunch, putting up decorations. We are so busy preparing for this special day that we almost miss the point of what it is all about.

Perhaps this year we should all take the time to 'turn at Beauty's glance'. Advent should be the season to slow down and contemplate the things of eternity, and poetry is one of the most enjoyable ways to contemplate life.

St. Paul's Cathedral is holding two poetry evenings which examines the writings of Emily Dickinson and Mark Oakley. These are poets of two different times, but both explore their love of God through the written word. Tickets to the readings are 50, and can be booked by calling 020 7236 3553.

Emily Dickinson
14th December, 11am-12.30pm

Like many greater writers, Emily Dickinson's work was never acknowledged during her lifetime. In fact, all her poetry was published posthumously. Born in 1830, Dickinson's poems reveal the passion of her faith, including how elusive God may seem to the joy and comfort it brings.

Contemporary poet, Wendy Cope will give the reading, and also share some of her own work, which reflects Dickinson's themes.

Mark Oakley
21st December, 11am-12.30pm

Mark Oakley is the Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral and former Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe. He is also an author, having written the best selling book, The Collage of God. His latest book, The Splash of Words, will be coming out soon. With an interest in poetry, many of his sermons take a leaf out of literature.
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Why? Appreciate literature
When: Every Saturday until 21st Dec
Phone: 020 7236 3553
Where: St. Paul's Cathedral
Cost: 50
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