Monday, March 5, 2012

C.H. Sisson

C.H. Sisson (1914—2003) is a poet and translator, who also wrote novels and essays. He was not well-known until he reached his sixties. He disliked much of the popular poetry of his day, considering its attitudes towards the poor to be sentimental and inaccurate.

Although raised a Methodist, he became dedicated to his adopted Anglicanism. He early became passionate about the writings of 17th century Anglicans, including the poets John Donne, George Herbert and Henry Vaughan. He worked in the British civil service, including in the Ministry of Labour; he was outspoken in favour of traditional structures in both political and ecclesiastical government. He was a close friend with the poet, critic and anthologist Donald Davie.

In 1993 he received a Companion of Honour for his achievement as a poet.

The Media

The world is fabricated by
A gang of entertainers who
Have replaced God Almighty.

The universe, made in six days,
Is re-made every day by those
Who hear all that the newsman says,
For whom fact is replaced by gloze.

The air is full of noise,
The screen of caper:
Reality enjoys
No inch of paper.

The most expensive lies
Flourish in every home:
Great gulps of froth and foam
Win the first prize.

Go to the quiet wood
To hear the beating heart:
Leaf fall and breaking bud
Will play their part.

And so the truth is out
Which only quiet tells,
And as it does, its voice
Sounds like a peal of bells.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: