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Posts Tagged ‘Night’s Bright Darkness’

Adventures in Bookland: Night’s Bright Darkness by Sally Read

Monday, June 26th, 2017


To be a poet, a true poet, is to be infected with the same sort of madness that produces prophets. It’s a calling, a vocation to stare into the depths of meaning and the dark abyss of words, to stand exposed beneath a pitiless sun and to teeter upon a knife ridge between unfathomable falls. This is the story of how a poet became a prophet. And it’s quite the most brilliant and compelling conversion story I’ve read since… well, to be honest, since Augustine. Whether Sally Read’s story will resound down the ages in the same way is unlikely, but it speaks with a particular clarity to another product of the peculiar culture that has produced us both: a culture of lights and wonders and flashing distractions; where we can speak across worlds, live the thrills and tragedies of other lives, and rush, rush, rush, always rush, to the freshest, hottest promise of purpose.

Sally Read was a poet before she became a prophet. It was the uncompromising nature of her immersion into the nature of meaning, the play and dance of sounds and shapes, semantics and syntax, that is the stuff of poetry and the foundation of words and worlds that opened her up – an atheist born, bred and convinced – to the raw nature of reality and, most profoundly, its wonder. And Wonder spoke. It showed her, it revealed itself, it sang to her. And, in its speaking, it showed itself to be a Person.

Really, I can say little else other than to urge you to read this book. If you have any interest in language, precisely deployed to tell a story and evoke that which is beyond language, then read this book. If you have any interest in how today’s aggressively secular culture can be reopened to grace, then read this book. If you have any interest in reading an extraordinary story by an extraordinary and slightly scary woman, then read this book.