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A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Sorriness and Grandeur Intermixed

The Writer’s Almanac gives a small biography of English poet Thomas Hardy today (June 2, 2019) along with one of his poems. In the biography the Almanac includes the following quote from Hardy: "The business of the poet and the novelist is to show the sorriness underlying the grandest things and the grandeur underlying the sorriest things." Brothers: this is why you should read poetry and read about poetry. Hardy’s line could well be applied to the art of preaching.

Here is the poem, which shows both the grandeur of a sorry thing and also the sorrow of a grand thing. And it even rhymes!

A Thunderstorm in Town 
by Thomas Hardy

She wore a new 'terra-cotta' dress,
And we stayed, because of the pelting storm,
Within the hansom's dry recess,
Though the horse had stopped; yea, motionless
We sat on, snug and warm.

Then the downpour ceased, to my sharp sad pain,
And the glass that had screened our forms before
Flew up, and out she sprang to her door:
I should have kissed her if the rain
Had lasted a minute more.

"A Thunderstorm in Town" by Thomas Hardy. Public domain.