The church is like the prow Of a smoky ship, moving On the down channel currents To the open sea. A stone
Figurehead, the flowing light Streams from it. From everywhere You can see Top Church, remote As high church is from chapel.
Church high on the summit Of the climbing town Where I was a child, where rain Runs always slantingly
On streets like tilted chutes Of grey sliding on all sides From the church, to sea and dock, To shopping streets and home.
Bresting the cloud, its stone Profile of an ancient priest Preaches continuity In the face of turning tides.
by Gillain Clarke from The Sundial (Gwasg Gomer, 1978)
Information: St Augustine’s Church is a Grade I listed Gothic Revival nineteenth-century parish church in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. Wales has, historically, had a strong chapel community in the valleys where small community cogregations, with their lay preachers, were far more common than larger organised churches.
A message from God delivered by a bird at my window, offering friendship. Listen, such language! Who said God was without speech? Every word an injection to make me smile. Meet me, it says, to-morrow here at the same time and you will remember how wonderful to-day was: no pain, no worry; irrelevant the mystery, if unsolved. I gave you the X-ray eye for you to use not to prospect, but to discover the un-malignancy of love's growth. You were a patient, too, anaesthetised on truth's table with life operating on you with a green scalpel. Meet me, I say, to-morrow and I will sing it for you all over again, when you have come to.
At twilight the swifts have no way Of stemming the cool blue cascade. It bursts from clamouring throats, A torrent that cannot be stayed.
At twilight the swifts have no way Of holding back, high overhead, Their clarion shouting: Oh, triumph, Look, look, how the earth has fled!
As steam billows up from a kettle, The furious stream hisses by - Look, look – there's no room for the earth Between the ravine and the sky.
By Бори́с Леони́дович Пастерна́к (Boris Leonidovich Pasternak) from Поверх барьеров (Over the Barriers) (1916) translated by Jon Stallworthy and Peter France
The poem, in Russian, set to music by La Luna with some elements of repition from the album ‘Серебряный Сад’ (Silver Garden).
The original Russian Cyrillic version of the poem.
Нет сил никаких у вечерних стрижей Сдержать голубую прохладу. Она прорвалась из горластых грудей И льется, и нет с нею сладу. И нет у вечерних стрижей ничего, Что б там, наверху, задержало Витийственный возглас их: о, торжество, Смотрите, земля убежала! Как белым ключом закипая в котле, Уходит бранчливая влага, - Смотрите, смотрите — нет места земле От края небес до оврага.