Quality is the first norm for art, but its final norm is love and truth, the enriching of human life, the deepening of our vision.


Let Beauty Awake - N.T. Wright

Let Beauty Awake

Acts 10.34–43; John 20.1–18
a sermon at the Eucharist in Durham Cathedral on Easter Day 2009
by the Bishop of Durham, Dr N. T. Wright
Let beauty awake in the morn from beautiful dreams,
Beauty awake from rest!
Let Beauty awake
For Beauty’s sake
In the hour when the birds awake in the brake
And the stars are bright in the west!
Impossibly romantic, you will think. How could the Bishop allow Easter morning to be subverted, trivialized even, by Robert Louis Stevenson’s high Victorian sentiment? Yes, all right, morning is indeed beautiful, and so for that matter is evening, as in the poem’s second stanza; but how can you go back to that old romantic vision? Hasn’t the whole twentieth century, not to mention what’s already gone of the twenty-first, made it impossible to return to that dreamy, pre-Raphaelite world? Don’t we have to be a lot tougher than that these days?