Forbear to Cry, Make No Mourning for the Dead

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Each week, I play a little game with the Gideon’s Bible at the local YMCA. Once a week, in the darkness of the early morning, when we arrive for our pre-dawn spin class, I take a moment to examine the Bible that’s placed on a stand of its own, over by the water fountain and the…


I do (both as a writer and in other said capacities).

I’m actually using phrases from Isaiah as chapter names for one of the multi-chapter fanfiction pieces I have going right now. The intentional richness and beauty of phrasing always strikes me. The tone of Isaiah also seems to match the piece pretty well, so this naming system is a choice I’m often glad I made. Some of my favorite gems so far are:

“written among the living”
“to stain the pride of glory”
“for the living, to the dead”
“dragons in their palaces”
“a cruel lord and a fierce king”


The Gideons came to our school and gave everyone who wanted one a New Testament; took it home and read it, then again during my degree for the religious literature module. By the time I’d completed my thesis on Metaphysical poets, I was pretty well steeped in it. Themes, images and metaphors soak through almost everything I write. Despite being nominally Church of England (i.e. practically no faith at all).

What’s interesting about the King James bible is what a creative work it really is; a translation that was argued, debated and censored according to a highly politicised doctrine in a time of division and opposition. And yet one of the great works of English literature.

I read the Bible in said other capacity, and have never (until now :slight_smile: )thought of it as a writer’s tool. Although I do have an idea for a novel about Timothy. (Lack of available research has put that on on the very back burner :slight_smile: )

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