Monday, January 16, 2023

David Scott

David Scott (1947―2022) is an English poet and Anglican priest who gained attention by winning the 1978 Sunday Times/BBC Poetry Competition. This helped lead to the first of his six poetry books, A Quiet Gathering, which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 1986. He is best known for his poetry, but he also wrote several plays for the National Youth Music Theatre with Jeremy James Taylor, and six books about the Christian faith, including, Moments of Prayer, and The Mind of Christ.

He was vicar of Torpenhow and Allhallows in Cumbria, then Rector of St Lawrence, was an honorary canon of Winchester Cathedral, and an honorary fellow of the University of Winchester. David Scott also served as poetry reviewer for The Church Times.

In 2008 the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, conferred a Lambeth Degree Doctorate of Letters (DLitt) on him “in recognition of his contribution to deepening the spiritual life of the Church through his standing as a poet and his teaching ministry…”

In 2010 David Scott took an early retirement, due to ill health. He died this past October.

The following poem is from Beyond the Drift ― New and Selected Poems, (2014, Bloodaxe Books).


I’ll go into a wood, a barn, a room
and not come out until my heart
is settled back on God the pivot,
I the balance. A chance for poise
to get my giddy head becalmed
into stillness that absorbs. I wonder what?
Things I dare not write for fear
they might be so, the illness worse,
or better.
I’ll enter into converse with my soul
and hope again to learn a love for others,
and of others love for me.
To stop doing one thing, and discover
what refuses to be laid aside.
Nothing new perhaps; just former things
attentively revived.

This post was suggested by my friend Burl Horniachek.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the author of five poetry collections including Angelicus (2021, Cascade) ― a book of poems written from the point-of-view of angels. His books are available through Wipf & Stock.