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May 29th, 2018

First Principles

Looking back, looking forward
It’s Tuesday.  Organ recitals for the sober, a Brewery Tour for…oh, I’d better leave it there!  And tonight, we fight to win the Carbon War and dancers dance their hearts out.   

The Festival is full of treats.   

But for me today, it’s a play rehearsal (Passport to Steyning) in the evening and this afternoon I shall enjoy hearing more about the Poets of the First World War from Jeremy Tomlinson.  He’s also my director in the evening!   

I’ve long been fascinated by the First World War.  I’ve learned all I can about my grand-uncle, William Kenyon, who was killed in August 1918, and my other grand-uncle Robbie, of whom I was extremely fond, who was injured at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.  I wish as a boy I’d known what I know now.   

That such creativity should come out of such terrible events is, in one sense, remarkable, but perhaps beauty is the only way to make sense of horror.   

One thing to make sure you see is a remarkable exhibition of poetry and paintings inspired by those events of long ago but which have such resonance today.  You can find Reflections in the Church, and there too you can find the names of those who fought in both world wars and those who lie buried in the churchyard.   

This, of course, is the centenary of the final year of the First World War.  How much do we owe to those who came before us, how much will we pass on to those who follow, how much have we learned in our lifetimes?   

1918      2018 

You can read the full programme here  https://www.steyningfestival.co.uk/whats-on

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Tags: #Festival #Blog #Events, #FirstWorldWar, #PassportToSteyning, #Poetry

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