• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

When poetry and theology meet

MANY thanks to Lesley Duncan for drawing our attention to Norman MacCaig's beautiful poem, Explicit Snow (Poem of the Day, The Herald, January 15).

In discerning the difference between rain and snow, the poet says that the latter comes "from a place we feel we could go to". This inner longing and attraction to something timelessly familiar and yet mysterious, reminded me of a line in the best Hebrew poem I know, Job 38.

God is putting little Job in his place with a series of majestic questions: "'Have you entered the storehouses of the snow?" he asks. "From whose womb did the ice come forth and who has given birth to the hoar-frost of heaven?"

It's in the words of both poets and the silence which they enfold that scientists and theologians and all alike find common ground in the mystery of the universe which neither can penetrate with any degree of precision nor certainty.

Rev David D Scott,

The Manse, Preston Road, East Linton,

East Lothian.

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.