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Lay for the Day
23rd October

4004 BC, 9am: God begins the creation, according to the calculation of Archbishop James Ussher.
Ussher, who was born in Dublin on 4th January 1581 and died in Reigate, Surrey on 21st March 1656, is most remembered nowadays for this fantastic-seeming dating. He was a scrupulous biblical scholar, however, and did valuable work in that field.
From the book of Praises:

99. Of Days

[The face of the deep]

Silently made a beginning,
from which singularity time,
exploding its Sunday, made space
out of nowhere. Matter, the earth,
though existent, pregnant nothing
was yet to be delivered of.
Nothing contained it, it contained
nothing. Was it desire to speak
made all for its sake – all being
one before, requiring no word?
Then to the page, the stage and place
he had shaped to receive it, spoke
the first of chances – not knowing
first that the light was good? It was.

 
John Gibbens
from Collected Poems
 

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar