Saturday, 29 December 2012

Secular Prayer.

Carol Ann Duffy is our very first female  poet  laureate .  She says she is an atheist but yet this  poem "Prayer" is making a different statement.
Secular spirituality works for me.

Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside the radio's prayer-
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.

She wrote this in 1994.....but this morning it's beauty  speaks to me directly....


  1. I once heard Carol Ann Duffy recite this poem (she visited our student body) and loved it as soon as I first heard it. It may be "secular" but I think it has an amazing depth and spirituality.

    1. So do I. It hit me squarely between the eyes this morning. I love it.

  2. Hmmm I thought I was an atheist too, once upon a time.
    A lovely poem Jean and it does rather illustrate the point you make.
    Unless of course, the God of everyday things is a different God?

  3. Now Ray. You know there's only one God! Stern voice. Lol

  4. I've not seen this poem before.

    It seems to me that she is celebrating the small ways and things, which make up our lives - and if we dedicate ourselves to God, through Jesus, surely most of our actions will be or maybe considered a prayer?

    If I had read this, not knowing that she says she is an atheist, I would have thought, what lovely insight into God's works.