Tuesday, 9 August 2016

For the sake of the ritual

I spend a lot of time in Chichester - my parents retired there, so it's still my bolthole from an Extremaduran summer that's pushing 42ºC this week - and the cathedral could end up seeming something of a backdrop to life, a spire that can be spotted when approaching the city from almost any angle. However, I can never bring myself just to walk past.

I have to go in to the cathedral every time and find An Arundel Tomb. Larkin's poem is hung in a frame alongside. By now, there's no need to look at the text, as its words fall through my lips of their own accord, but I still do, line by line, for the sake of the ritual. I take David, my son, whenever he's with me, and we read it together. He learns how poetry can make such a shiver-inducing lump come alive...

1 comment:

  1. Dear Matthew

    Talking of tombs, we visited Sylvia Plath's grave in Heptonstall again last week. It has recently been cleared of all the pens, pencils, tarot cards and cuddly toys and all that remains are some coins on her headstone which I am responsible for.

    Best wishes from Simon R. Gladdish