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3 Oct 2014
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Perhaps

The Archbishop of Cantebury, in preparing for this year's Dimbleby lecture, has, it seems, been drawing inspiration from the leading American thinker, Professor Philip Bobbitt.

We spoke to Professor Bobbitt on the Today programme. During the interview, he mentioned that he would like to read a poem for us.
Listen

Perhaps these thoughts of ours
will never find an audience
Perhaps the mistaken road
will end in a mistake
Perhaps the lamps we light one at a time
will be blown out, one at a time
Perhaps the candles of our lives will gutter out
without lighting a fire to warm us.

Perhaps when all the tears have been shed

the earth will be more fertile
Perhaps when we sing praises to the sun
the sun will praise us in return
Perhaps these heavy burdens
will strengthen our philosophy
Perhaps when we weep for those in misery
we must be silent about miseries of our own

Perhaps
Because of our irresistible sense of mission
We have no choice

- Shu Ting (translated by Carolyn Kizer)

Philip Bobbit
Philip Chase Bobbit, author of The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History
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