I was so touched by the words of the anthem/hymn, Jerusalem by William Blake (1808) music by Sir Hubert Parry (1916) during the recent Marriage ceremony of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Poetry is not written like this anymore, where the words are so powerful, they move you not just through emotions, but with the desire to become something greater than you are now.
And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon England’s mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land
Beneath this poem, William Blake inscribed an excerpt from the Bible: ‘”Would to God that all the Lord’s people were Prophets” (Numbers 11:29).
Please see more of the interpretation of this poem here.
Much has been made of whether this is a Patriotic Anthem or a Hymn, to me it’s both.
So here’s my challenge. Try writing poetry, not in the Modern style (devoid of rules, rhyme, meter, or sense) but in a Romantic or Classical style that can be seen as an anthem or hymn. Something that is moving, both with words and phrases. It’s harder than it looks.
We have come to a time when mediocrity is celebrated. When people scoff at attempts to live enriching principles.
There was nothing mediocre about the wedding that was celebrated last weekend. Extreme lengths were taken to prepare for this wedding in the name of perfection and the celebration of Marriage. It was simply, Historic.
I want more from the art that comes from our time. I want Art that speaks to the inner goodness inside mankind. Words that don’t mock or deride a person for trying to be more than they are now. Creations that breathe life, action, and a desire to be better into our minds and hearts.
When people desire to undertake worthwhile challenges simply because it builds the soul, we will be better people on this earth.
Here is a video of the event –