As a poet Matthew Arnold (1822 – 1888) resonates deep within my soul. Brought up with his poetry such as the Scholar Gypsy I was honoured a few years ago when asked to read one of his poems at a dear friend’s funeral,(extract-The Evening Comes). Carrying on with my recent theme of sea poetry Dover Beach, the part below especially, has much to say about our present world, it is gloomy but the world is in need of such commentators even if they come from across the centuries.
The sea of faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl’d.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-winds, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! For the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help with pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confus’d alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
Best wishes for a peaceful tolerant world – Denny Bradbury