The Stillness and the Dancing

still the song this silence sings me
is the sweetest I have heard

Pearl: 14th-c. elegy, Anon (transl. J Draycott)

Elected Silence, sing to me
and beat upon my whorlèd ear,
Pipe me to pastures still and be
The music that I care to hear.

‘The Habit of Perfection’: G M Hopkins, 1866

What do we hear when we draw breath, put some distance between ourselves and the busy world? What falls into the space when we listen instead of talking? Looking together at the poetry of stillness, we’ll explore the active silence created by white spaces on the page, discover what happens when we say less, disturb the air with fewer words. These conversations will provide a foundation for your own guided writing experiments, opening up doors in the quietness onto landscapes of even richer association, like the spring-again that follows a rest in music. No poetry writing experience necessary, just a listening ear ready for Eliot’s moment when ‘the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.’

This session will be led by Jane Draycott.

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“Ice”, Lukas Opekar, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0