Daily Archives: February 8, 2018

Paperback Writer! Mariner comes out in Paperback today!

This is just a note to let you know that my book Mariner: A Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge comes out in paperback today on both sides of the Atlantic! The image above is the cover of the new English Paperback edition from Hodder and Stoughton. I’m delighted with their choice for a cover since the night-sky was such an important image of beauty, grace, and tranfigurative light especially in his darkest days. Here is a passage from the book about what that night-sky meant to STC, including his own words from the end of his Biographia Literaria:

Coleridge came to comprehend a unity and continuity between his reason and his faith, both of them welling up from and animated by imagination. In the last words of the Biographia, he seems to revisit that evening walk as a little boy, holding his father’s hands while the stars came out, but this time the grown man has found himself drawn into the life of another Father, with the Son, and Holy Spirit:

Christianity, as taught in the Liturgy and Homilies of our Church, though not discoverable by human Reason, is yet in accordance with it; that link follows link by necessary consequence; that Religion passes out of the ken of Reason only where the eye of Reason has reached its own Horizon; and that Faith is then but its continuation: even as the Day softens away into the sweet Twilight, and Twilight, hushed and breathless, steals into the Darkness. It is Night, sacred Night! The upraised Eye views only the starry Heaven which manifests itself alone: and the outward Beholding is fixed on the sparks twinkling in the aweful depth, though Suns of other Worlds, only to preserve the Soul steady and collected in its pure Act of inward Adoration to the great I AM, and to the filial WORD that re-affirmeth it from Eternity to Eternity, whose choral Echo is the Universe.



Filed under imagination

Seven Whole Days: The Fifth Day; Creatures of the Sky and Sea

With open wings a seagull skims the spray

It is a lovely thing that in the Genesis story a whole day is given over to the wild things of the sea and sky, the flying and diving creations that inhabit elements other than ours, but who are also the work of God’s hand and the delight of His mind. They exist of course  for God’s glory and for their own good purposes but perhaps they are also His words to us and provide us with living images of our own thoughts and prayers.

This fifth of my seven roundels for the primal week of Genesis can be heard by clicking the ‘play’ button or the roman Numeral and is preceded by the verses in Genesis Chapter One that inspired it.

The Canadian artist Faye Hall has made a beautiful sequence of 63 paintings responding to my Seven Whole Days Sequence and we have published it as a book, which you can purchase from her web site here  or, in the uk from Amazon Here.  Faye has kindly allowed ne to include with each poem one or two of the paintings from the book, to give you a taste of it, and you can see these paintings for yourself at the MHC Gallery in Winnipeg from 16th March to 5th of May. I will be at the gallery on 15th April for a special book signing and launch event, full details here

These poems were originally published in ‘Parable and Paradox’   Canterbury Press in the summer of 2016

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.



With open wings a seagull skims the spray,

Sounding the depth below, a great whale sings,

Your Spirit moves amongst them as they play

With open wings.


Now open me to all your Spirit brings,

Move in me too as I begin to pray,

That love may ripple out in shining rings.


Speak to my soul through all you made this day,

Through all that swims and flies and swoops and swings,

And let your Spirit lift the words I say

With open wings.

Sounding the depths below, a great whale sings

1 Comment

Filed under imagination