Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 21 December 2009

  • BC-AD

    This was the moment when Before
    Turned into After, and the future’s
    Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.

    This was the moment when nothing
    Happened. Only dull peace
    Sprawled boringly over the earth.

    This was the moment when even energetic Romans
    Could find nothing better to do
    Than counting heads in remote provinces.

    And this was the moment
    When a few farm workers and three
    Members of an obscure Persian sect

    Walked haphazard by starlight straight
    Into the kingdom of heaven.

    by U.A. Fanthorpe

    © U.A. Fanthorpe, 2002

    Having been one of Britain's most popular poets since publishing her first collection in 1978, U.A. Fanthorpe sadly passed away in April, 2009. Christmas Poems, first published in 2002, collects Christmas card messages sent by Fanthorpe to friends since 1974, and is a fitting tribute to her versatility and wit as a poet. 'BC-AD' offers an askance perspective on the Nativity story, striking with the quicksilver power of an epiphany. You can find out more about the collection here, and more about Fanthorpe here.

    Enitharmon Press takes its name from a William Blake character who represents spiritual beauty and poetic inspiration. Founded in 1967 with an emphasis on independence and quality, Enitharmon has been associated with such figures as Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Kathleen Raine. Enitharmon also commissions internationally renowned collaborations between artists, including Gilbert & George, and poets, including Seamus Heaney, under the Enitharmon Editions imprint. Discover more about Enitharmon here.

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    The Weekly Poem service takes a Christmas break for the next two weeks, and returns on 11 January. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all readers, and thanks for your continued support of the Weekly Poem initiative.