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Background information for

The Sadness of Knowing

What is essentially the original poem came in 1977, as the last verse of this six verse presentation:

Will I burst, that what is in me
give birth to the silent storms of revelation,
too close to see, to speak the way,
too loud to hear, too soft to say
the Sadness of Knowing.

When it was decided to include this short poem in the illustrated poetry pages, having through the years found the work “attracting the detractor,” I felt to support it by introducing some of the bible passages that speak of Jesus’ “sadness,” in fact the universal, impersonal pain of “The Christ” in all whose lives have been dedicated to showing forth Truth on any level, that “the natural man comprehendeth not the things of God,”* those things that are universal human rights, and truth, common to all.

And so began, albeit in 2012, some 35 years later, what has become the completed version of the poem we now offer in video and plain text formats on the www.tonytitshall.com website.

Once it was written, I kept hearing it with music in my mind, though I had no idea what kind of music would or could accompany it and adequately express or embody the eternal sentiment shown forth in the poem. It wasn’t long, however, before I had a feel for a piece of English music I remembered, which when I found it, I discovered to be called Nimrod, from Sir Edward Elgar’s “Enigma Variations,” a piece whose sensitivity matched both the pathos and the emphasis we wanted to convey.

To my amazement, when I checked the length of the recording and that of the sequence we had compiled to illustrate the six verses of the poem, they were almost identical in rhythm and timing, something I did not discover until I put the recorded sequence to the music, even finding crescendos and climactic moments of poem and piece in unison.

The classical and contemporary artwork is self-explanatory in terms of depiction. The only scene where we could not find an ancient or modern artistic image to represent it was where “Jesus,” the Eternal Christ, the Child or Son of God in all, says, “I lived and moved among them, and they knew me not — I still DO, and they still DON’T.” As we were debating what to do in that frame, in the synchronicity of that very moment, an email arrived. As I opened it, there before us across the screen, staring us in the face, were the imploring eyes of that child, saying without words the sentiment we were trying to convey, namely, “Who do you say I am?”

And so, we humbly offer a video version of the poem, “The Sadness of Knowing,” in the hope that you will enjoy this artistic representation.


*1 Cor 2:14; John 1:5