This small book was published in 1976 in an edition with fine illustrations from Patricia Saunders.
Everybody’s favourite? Unbelievably long out of print.
Written in natural speech rhythms but with some regular beats that will be there if you recite candidly.
A dynamic opening with the wind sweeping from the desert interior of Australia, the desert used to explode many atomic bombs. A highly successful personification of the wind as energy, spirit, pneuma. Then a wonderful evocative fond picture of Francis’ early life, natural and unforced. Even a humorous aside
I have heard the mavis singing
Variations on Home Sweet Home.
surely a recalling of J. Alfred Prufrock’s
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
but without any of the disillusionment of early Eliot.
Our poet faces the wonderful task of creating the Word for the Silent Land, giving it voice. And Francis proceeds with a lovely mixture of the humorous and the lyrical. By the way the painter he mentions, Sassetta, was a great Siennese renaissance artist renowned for his mastery of pattern and rhythm: the ugliness of the city was awakening his craving for beauty.
The poem ends with a dazzling perspective on the infinitude of love, along with a social message of sweetly balanced humour and indignation.
The Wind Of The Word is a poem to give us all the courage to endure. Should be frequently recited in every Baba Centre and home. (It pays to advertise).