Saturday, December 02, 2006

Calm Soul of all Things

The historian, Peter Ackroyd, in his ‘biography’ of London writes about the significance of parks, gardens and wide open spaces to people in a busy, noisy city:

The silence of the nineteenth-century city can induce an almost spiritual sense of transcendence.

Matthew Arnold wrote some lines in Kensington Gardens, where peace and silence prevailed over ‘men’s impious roar’ and the ‘city’s hum’:

Calm Soul of all things! Make it mine
To feel, amid the city’s jar
That there abides a peace of Thine,
Man did not make and cannot mar.

So the ‘soul of all things’ is to be recognized within this silence.

Source: Peter Ackroyd, London: The Biography (London: Chatto and Windus, 2000), 84

Image: Kensington Gardens.