Saturday, July 02, 2011

Happy Birthday, Thomas


Thomas Cranmer, born this day 1489, true architect of the Anglican service - author of the Book of the Common Prayer.

Even a freethinker can admire his genius...

...and hold up his death as a horrible example what happens when religious affiliation is a political weapon.



Admire Cranmer!
Stevie Smith


Admire the old man, admire him, admire him,
Mocked by the priests of Mary Tudor, given to the flames,
Flinching and overcoming the flinching, Cranmer.

Admire the martyrs of Bloody Mary's reign
In the shocking arithmetic of cruel average, ninety
A year, three-hundred; admire them.

But still I cry: Admire the Archbishop,
The old man, the scholar, admire him.
Not simply, for flinching and overcoming simply,
But for his genius, admire him,
His delicate feelings of genius, admire him,

That wrote the Prayer Book
(Admire him!)
And made the flames burn crueller. Admire Cranmer!


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