i heard silence on glass brims fading laughter footsteps fading echoes of guests gone swallowed by shadow depths twinkling in a night sky burning like meteorites skimming off stratosphere bouncing off spent lines as my eyes sparkled diamonds galaxies surrounding a single hosted earth pulse companionship bubbling fleeting fleeting gone dust life squeaked spice sounds gathered spread tables symbolic symmetries (will format and dedicate it later, presently out and about on a misty grey day walking)
'Amazing Grace' by John Newton is a hymn and an incredible poem, but for me the miraculous element about the theme of this poem is the amazing grace of God; to whom John Newton prayed during an exceptionally violent life threatening storm, when Newton was afraid he was about to drown in 1749, when the ship he was upon started to fill with water and sink off the coast of Donegal, Ireland. Was Newton's prayer answered as he called out to God to save his life and soul?
History records the fact that the cargo of the ship shifted and stopped up the hole, the ship drifted to safety and Newton eventually converted to evangelical Christianity. Truth is stranger than fiction, Newton a blackbirder, involved in the brutal inhumane slave trade, had sunk into the depths of violent alcoholism; working on slave ships from 1748 until a severe stroke in 1754, yet even in ill health Newton continued to invest in slavery.
It is strange how a man who had been involved in inflicting so much vile misery upon others, would eventually strive to redeem himself, and devote the rest of his life to achieving the abolition of slavery in England in 1807 just before his death.
To quote Wikipedia and the reference from Hochschild 2005, pp.130-132. In 1788,34 years after he had retired from the slave trade, Newton broke a long silence on the subject with the publication of a forceful pamphlet Thoughts Upon the Slave Trade, in which he described the horrific conditions of the slave ships during the Middle Passage. He apologized for a confession, which... comes too late... It will always be a subject of humiliating reflection to me, that I was once an active instrument in a business at which my heart now shudders. He had copies sent to every MP, and the pamphlet sold so well that it swiftly required reprinting.
Without knowing these facts about John Newton, it is impossible to understand the strength of belief and conviction in the words of 'Amazing Grace'.
The story of Newton's conversion reminds me of the life of Saul of Tarsus, who actively persecuted Christians, until his conversion and amazing life of redemption, as Paul the Apostle; a man who had a profound and pervasive effect upon the course of Christianity. Thus the theme of Newton's poem, is the amazing grace of God, can and will transform the lives of those who convert and believe. The poem is beautiful, choice and free will is ours, as is our responsibility for our actions.