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One of the great joys of life is discovering a new poet.

I saw a documentary on TV the other week about George Mackay Brown, a poet who lived in the Orkney Islands of Northern Scotland (which makes him an Orcadian, what a lovely word)

I have always been attracted to wild islands and one of my ambitions is to camp outdoors for a month in a place like the Orkneys, just watching the light change, marvelling at the sea birds, trying to catch fish and enjoying the sheer beauty of nature which I believe to be God’s creation. Jesus used to spend significant time by Himself in communion with God in the wilderness.

So here is one of George Mackay Brown’s poems, Dead Fires, which, despite its title is full of life, and through which, like the documentary said, you can can hear the winds of Orkney whistling.

Now…

…now since you are a newly birthed admirer of George Mackay Brown you will want to read his extrordinarily beautiful poem Hamnavoe and answer this question:

Since merely reading the poem Hamnavoe can wrench tears of joy from my eyes, what is it that I should be doing with my life ?

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