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Friday's Child - published 2018

'Friday's Child - poems of suffering and redemption'

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Thirty Five poems which explore the human experience of suffering and redemption chosen by Brian Mountford, each one accompanied by his own thoughtful and witty commentary.


Some poems, like John Skelton’s ‘Woefully Arrayed’ or John Donne’s ‘Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward’, choose themselves; others, like Philip Larkin’s ‘Ambulances’, Seamus Heaney’s ‘Digging’ and Wilfred Owen’s ‘Greater Love’, are not immediately obvious. But the Passion of Christ has a universal theme that has unfortunately been narrowed by some Christian apologists, determined to privatise it and impose their particular interpretation of its meaning on others. The author considers that any serious attempt to write about suffering, betrayal and the search for meaning constitutes a kind of scripture that can amplify what Christians call Holy Scripture.



Philip Pullman

Brian Mountford’s engagement with religion, and with the world, and with the human aspects of them both, has been something I’ve long admired. In this inspiring collection of poems and readings for Good Friday he brings all his experience of literature, and of the needs of readers and listeners both young and old, together to create a tapestry of great brilliance and a commentary of calm wisdom.


Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury

Brian Mountford has written a short reflection on each poem in this wonderful collection - insightful, often understated and spacious so as to encourage our own response. What a clever idea and so beautifully done. This is an anthology that will feed the soul throughout the year.


Teenagers' comments:


Saying the poetry aloud and thinking how you are going to make it sound (or how others might hear it) makes you think much more about what it might be trying to say. (Julius Gasson)


Reading these poems on Good Friday was always an important part of my year. They opened up discussions about doubt, religious doctrine, and human nature for me.

This is how young people want to be treated; we never felt patronized, but our voices were, in every sense, heard. (Aphra Hiscock)


It was interesting having poems that you wouldn’t normally associate with Good Friday; yet including them made you reflect on them in a different way. It’s good not to compartmentalise religion or to say only ‘religious’ things can be spiritual. (Jerome Gasson)

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