Listen To Them Breathing



Sibyl Ruth is a poet who is also a practising Quaker.

For many years she thought her poetry had little to do with her Quaker background.

But then, after a meeting with the poet and Quaker Dorothy Nimmo, she began to see connections between her Quaker beliefs and the poetry that spoke most clearly to her.

In this programme she goes in search of other poets who are Quakers, to try and find out if there is a relationship between their belief in the Quaker ministry and their writing.

She talks to Rosie Bailey about her late partner UA Fanthorpe; to publishers Anne and Peter Sansom about the writing workshops they organise which draw on many of the principles of Quaker meeting; to Gerard Benson, the co-founder of Poems on the Underground, who became a Quaker quite late in life; and to Philip Gross, a line from whose poem 'The Quakers of Pompeii' provides the programme's title.

Producer: Sara Davies

The poems included in the programme are:

Friends Meeting House, Frenchay by UA Fanthorpe

The Black Parrot by Dorothy Nimmo

Pottery Lesson by Dorothy Nimmo

Zero by Philip Gross

Song of Jean by Sybil Ruth

The Quakers of Pompeii by Philip Gross.

Poet Sibyl Ruth explores the connections between the Quakers and poetry.