inspiration (II)

22. A quote, poem or piece of writing that reminds you of this deity

I heard this poem recited on the radio a few days ago. It made me reflect on some of my recent official and unofficial forays into churchgoing, as a pagan druid (about which, more later, in another post)…


If I were called in
to construct a religion
I should make use of water.

Going to church
Would entail a fording
To dry, different clothes;

My liturgy would employ
Images of sousing,
A furious devout drench,

And I should raise in the east
A glass of water
Where any-angled light
Could congregate endlessly.

[From Philip Larkin’s The Whitsun Weddings, Faber & Faber Ltd, 1964].

Larkin writes from within a cultural traditional of Anglicanism, and modern British agnosticism. I feel comfortable reading ‘going to church’ as any act of worship, including pagan ritual. What matters in this poem is the impulse to experience and connect with a sense of what is sacred, however we define it. And, in this poem, his evocation of the wonder of water and light is what makes me think of Manawydan.

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