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Seeing God and the Poetry of Ursula Bethell

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posted on 2021-11-08, 01:55 authored by Flinn, Marit

Mary Ursula Bethell's poems are almost exclusively celebrations of natural beauty. What, then, is the significance of the beauty within the world to the poet? This question is central to Bethell's poetry and this thesis attempts to answer it. Beauty, for Bethell, is the invisible shining through the visible. It is the glory of God shown in the physical world. As Bethell searches for and celebrates beauty, she is in fact searching for and celebrating the face of God.  Bethell's first collection, From a Garden in the Antipodes, introduces the role of beauty in the poet's life: a role of revealing the world as a point of connection between herself and her God. Time and Place continues with this theme. Here the focus is on Christ as the ultimate Being - the foundation of all things, who is revealed most perfectly through the beauty of the world. Day and Night holds the climax of the revelation of God. It unveils the Holy Spirit as the 'Spirit of Beauty', so creating a direct link between the poet and her God - a link which is made evident by the beauty of the world.


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Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Name

Master of Arts

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies


Stafford, Jane