Set in form

It may be said that we inherited poetry from the universe. Creation was set in form and framed in rhythm long before mankind became part of it

Louis Untermeyer
The Pursuit of Poetry

I’ve been gazing at a pebble. A treasured – often steadying – gift from a friend. It will travel with me in the coming week, some of which will be spent in company with fellow writers on the island from which it came to me: Iona.

Described as a ‘thin place’, off the southwest coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides, one where the division between earth and heaven is very slender indeed, St Columba travelled to Iona long ago, and other pilgrims and poets through many generations have contemplated there dearly and deeply.

For me, as for the pebble in my pocket, this visit will be a returning. And I shall once again reflect deeply on Louis Untermeyer’s ‘Creation was set in form and framed in rhythm long before mankind became part of it.’

Where has my pebble travelled in the past? Whose the pockets before (and after) mine? And whence the creation, the form and the rhythm, the sustainer, the pattern, the bedrock of time?

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