Tony Butcher

A Walk in the Park

- by Tony Butcher


amazon A Walk in the Park  is the sum total of Tony Butcher's poetry, from the first piece of nonsense verse he wrote, to long, spiritual poems much later in his career

The author claims that these days he only writes when inspiration comes “hot from the gods”, reckoning that all his best material has come that way and anything out of his own head tends to be “clever rubbish” by comparison.

The book title marks a watershed in Tony’s life and poetic work. A poem of the same name within the anthology illustrates a life-changing experience the author had in Regents Park whilst in his final term at Sidney Webb Teacher College.

In fact, Tony has been particularly fortunate with life-changing events, because he has had several.

In addition, many of the poems were also courses of instruction from a higher sources. He found verses about the ancient knowledge came spontaneously and only consequently did he have time to assimilate them.

One day in the seventies he found himself on the brink of madness. He was trying to write two different poems simultaneously – one with the right hand and one with the left.

The one the right hand wrote was his initial inspiration for “Mary” – one of his very best. Tony says that the one his left hand was writing had to be discontinued in order to keep his sanity – the jury is still out on that!

Look out for early poems such as “Autumn Alchemy” as well as gems like “The Water Lily” and “When You Speak”.

There is a big selection on offer, from folk song lyrics to humour and everything else in between.

Tony, himself, is particularly keen on one called the “Hoop Dance”. It is about a dance a redskin shaman performed to illustrate the meaning and purpose of life to his tribe.

 



Coverage: "A Walk in the Park"

Deborah Wright Words:


Tony Butcher’s collection belongs to a tradition of religious and spiritual poetry that have inspired people over many generations and whose masters include Rumi, the Persian mystical poet and Gerard Manley Hopkins, the 19th century Jesuit priest who penned exquisite Christian poetry. Many religious poems tend to paint their devotion in the precise colours of their particular faith and culture.

The poems in this volume are particularly fascinating because they weave together threads of both Eastern and Western poetry, refusing to confine themselves to any specific doctrine. One of the finest poems is Mary, in which Tony considers her as both the mother of Jesus and the Mother of all Creation from a Vedic viewpoint.

Tony Butcher has lived in England all his life but has made regular visits to India. In 1968, he learnt Transcendental Meditation, which enabled him to enjoy luminous spiritual experiences which clearly inspired many of the gems in this collection.

The poems range from the personal, such as A Walk in the Park, to the grand and philosophical, such as The Hoop Dance, which explores the path to enlightenment. Like Gerard Manley Hopkins, Butcher has a profound appreciation for nature and many of his verses sing with pantheism; When You Speak reads like a hymn to God’s creation:

  Your perfect syllables -
  Each a symphony in seed form -
  inspire All creation to sing with you:

 

Rumi once wrote:

‘Love’s nationality is separate from all other religions / The lover’s religion and nationality is the Beloved’.

These apt lines capture the spirit of this collection, which is a celebration of life, Nature, and above all, love for the Divine.

 

Deborah Wright author of six best selling novels including “The Rebel Fairy"