Rowan Williams' poetic contribution to blood and organ donation campaign

Published 18 July 2013
(Photo: Jonathan Cherry)

Host Organism is the name of a new poem penned by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams encouraging blood and organ donation.

The poem has been written in support of the NHS's Fleshandblood campaign, which is asking Christians to see blood and organ donation as part of their giving and as acts of generosity.

Lord Williams is a noted poet and a collection of his works, 'The Poems of Rowan Williams', was long listed for the 'Wales Book of the Year' award in 2004.

He says of Host Organism: "I began with two basic pictures: something being implanted and something breaking through what feels like stasis or deadlock. But essentially it's a poem about hope, and about the sort of providential accident of one life being planted in another and making new things possible."

Scroll down for the video of Lord Williams reciting Host Organism and read it here in full:

Host Organism

I have been living
under the layers
of grain and moisture,
earth in my nostrils
and the years ahead
sitting like hard
pebbles in my gut,
and the hands that get
to sift the slack
grit, while I sleep
fearfully through hours
of gardening labours,
pull themselves clear
and scrape nails clean
so that I feel the pricking
of green points that seek
pathways and waking
and tomorrow's work,
pushing out of the seed
dropped by some unnamed bird.

By Dr Rowan Williams

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