About Andrew Thornton-Norris

Andrew Thornton-Norris is the author of The Spiritual History of English, described by The Times as "an enjoyable, erudite and cohesive journey through the history and philosophy of English literature in 150 pithily written pages." He is also an accomplished poet praised by such authors as David Yezzi, Fiona Sampson, Alison Brackenbury, John Powell Ward, Aidan Nichols and Roger Scruton. He has his own website at www.thornton-norris.com.

“Youth II”

By |2020-11-19T11:34:55-06:00January 2nd, 2019|Categories: Christianity, Poetry|

Just as the year is being born so it Will too grow up and die when these harsh months Of darkness and despair have passed and we Let hope with gentle spring come in again. The remedy for lack of hope is hope, Whether worldly or heavenly expectation, But the latter brings a joy so [...]


By |2020-11-19T13:11:58-06:00May 3rd, 2015|Categories: Poetry|

The cupids of creation, makers of The wax of prayer, light of fallen world, Bring life into the vegetable just as The word brings life into the human world. The body is the wax, the wick the soul, The flame is the divinity of he Who lights up lives and brings the gift of faith, [...]

“Holy Sorrow”

By |2020-11-19T11:40:17-06:00February 28th, 2015|Categories: Heaven, Poetry|

When after sleeping in the day I wake And find my parents are not there I grieve The time that passes by like stars above Whose movement is the movement of the earth When at the turning of the year just like The turning of the leaves when nights draw in And thoughts of frost [...]

“High Places”

By |2020-10-02T12:51:25-05:00February 21st, 2015|Categories: Poetry|

In life and art today when anything goes This thin sliver of skin the surface in Which all a person’s soul is living is Stripped naked like the tree in winter field On which the evil of our hearts is hung. False lovers speak to me no more of things I have no interest in [...]

“Presences V”

By |2020-10-07T16:17:36-05:00February 14th, 2015|Categories: Poetry|

The interior soul does not compete Has everything it needs and is complete And leaves the world in mysterious peace. It sees beyond the ends of time and space, And hears the songs of the angelic choir, And seeks humiliation like it eats, And drinks the joy and peace it always brings. […]

“Presences VI”

By |2020-10-14T00:46:57-05:00February 7th, 2015|Categories: Poetry|

The demons in my head are saying I Should be someone else be somewhere else Be doing something different elsewhere Of different parents personality Physique and conversation, tastes and thoughts But you say I should be with you always Forevermore, until the end of time. The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion [...]

“Presences VII”

By |2020-10-17T08:10:34-05:00January 31st, 2015|Categories: Poetry|

Alone with only thoughts for company, They pass onto the spiritual life And suddenly I am alone no more. The company of heaven is with me, The angels and the saints are with the Queen Of heaven in their contemplation of The Blessed Trinity, and there too me. The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation [...]

“Presences VIII”

By |2020-10-23T15:55:07-05:00January 24th, 2015|Categories: Poetry|

I heard eternity is like the world, But it has music playing all the time And never ending holiday with all The joy of being and of being alive Without the pain and suffering, but that Is only if we live the way we ought; And if we don't, it won't, and will be worse. [...]


By |2020-09-30T16:27:59-05:00January 17th, 2015|Categories: Poetry|

It was on oolite and on Oxford Clay That first I wept in greenwood wilderness By winding brook and sunken silver stream What first came into view was seeing not. An offering of suffering I made To being itself in hope it would repair The damage done to others and myself When wan remembrance took [...]

“Presences X”

By |2020-11-09T20:33:03-06:00January 10th, 2015|Categories: Poetry|

Sitting in the railway carriage, peace At last, the world is passing by, the next Is coming in, to hearts that know the breath Inside, in separation from what's stuck In time, and following a timetable All of its own, the traveller on the way Back home is even now already there. We hope you [...]


By |2020-09-22T12:23:11-05:00December 27th, 2014|Categories: Poetry|

The trees were made for birds and shepherds to Recite the music of the turning spheres In branches alto and soprano sing By trunk below the tenor and the bass. As lives pass by like litter in the streets The marketplace's gods and goddesses Demand their sacrifice of blood and gold Contemptuous of the suffering [...]

“Presences IX”

By |2020-11-09T20:08:00-06:00December 20th, 2014|Categories: Poetry|

Rock and roll was my religion when I was a teenager until I came Into my twenties and I worshipped at The church of poetry until I wed At forty four and quit idolatry Completely seeking good and holy things Alone and living in the happiest time The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to [...]

“Sound and Vision in Verse (Hopkins and Hulme)”

By |2020-09-21T17:17:50-05:00December 13th, 2014|Categories: Poetry|

In contemplation of the concrete particular reality the metaphysical is at its most complete, the redemption of creation through its representation and communication, the incarnation corporeal of the soul spiritual in experience conveyed. The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere [...]

“A sacrifice”

By |2020-09-28T19:52:29-05:00December 6th, 2014|Categories: Poetry|

The dead walk and live in houses go To work and run and sing and recreate I am not bitter but the taste or sight Or sound of them is dark night and the Religion of the dead is poetry Beyond words, symbols and all things is hid What is approached by them and they [...]

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