Lock-Down Poetry – an Introduction

An introduction to our poetry series on the Sarum College Blog, by Mark Pryce

The physical and clinical impact of Covid-19 is immense, and the psychological and emotional impact no less so: a virus which many of us find deeply concerning, even frightening, with all kinds of repercussions socially, relationally, spiritually, economically. For people living in family households with restricted domestic space, especially when children are at home, lock-down brings particular pressures; for people living alone, it may be isolation which is depleting. 

Yet, it’s a complex picture, and there are some benefits. People are experiencing new ways of connecting with others; relationships are being discovered, strengthened or renewed. There is creativity bubbling up too – some reconnecting with self, and with the divine.

Though lock-down has brought all kinds of demands and complications, it has offered to some people a gift of fewer obligations to travelling and garrulous meetings, less busyness and more silence, time for reflection and attentiveness to the world around them. There is space for the imagination to play.

Large numbers of people have been exploring their experience of Covid-19 through poetry – listening to it on the radio, taking time to read it, and there is plenty of writing poetry too.

The first pair of poems were written during Holy Week and Easter Week, in the early part of April 2020.

Read the Sarum Blog to keep up to date with our poetry selection.

The Revd Canon Dr Mark Pryce is a visiting scholar in the Sarum College Centre for Human Flourishing. He is director of Ministry, Birmingham Diocese and Chaplain to The Queen. 

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