31 October 2019, The Tablet

Speed reading: Michael Glover ponders poetry of grief


Why is poetry so capable of dealing with grief? Why would an atheist with no interest in spiritual matters still choose a Shakespeare sonnet for a service after the death of his wife?

It is something to do with the slowness of poems, their rhythmical gravity, their very pulse, which seems to simulate the heart’s regular pulse too. They oblige us to take life at a seriously regular walking pace.

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