Listen to Them Breathing
Sibyl Ruth is a Quaker and a poet, and she goes in search of the connections between her Quaker beliefs and the surprising number of contemporary poets who share them.
Sibyl Ruth is a poet who is also a practising Quaker. For many years she thought her poetry had little to do with her Quaker background. But then, after a meeting with the poet and Quaker Dorothy Nimmo, she began to see connections between her Quaker beliefs and the poetry that spoke most clearly to her. In this programme she goes in search of other poets who are Quakers, to try and find out if there is a relationship between their belief in the Quaker ministry and their writing. She talks to Rosie Bailey about her late partner UA Fanthorpe; to publishers Anne and Peter Sansom about the writing workshops they organise which draw on many of the principles of Quaker meeting; to Gerard Benson, the co-founder of Poems on the Underground, who became a Quaker quite late in life; and to Philip Gross, a line from whose poem 'The Quakers of Pompeii' provides the programme's title.
Producer: Sara Davies
The poems included in the programme are:
Friends Meeting House, Frenchay by UA Fanthorpe
The Black Parrot by Dorothy Nimmo
Pottery Lesson by Dorothy Nimmo
Zero by Philip Gross
Song of Jean by Sybil Ruth
The Quakers of Pompeii by Philip Gross.