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Eleanor Zuercher

Needlework and Poetry


My collection of poetry “The Dwelling” was published in 2016 and is available to order from Troubador. A few of the poems are available here by clicking on the title, though some of the more recent ones are not in the book. There are also some sound files where you can hear me reading them.

The Dwelling cover
I have written several poems for church choir concerts.  After a few years of choosing poems for Christmas and for Good Friday, I found I needed something fresh, so I wrote a few myself.


  "Christmas Present" and "The Word" are both inspired by the prologue to St John's Gospel - as were my embroideries for St Mary Magdalen.  I have also recorded myself reading them - you can hear "Christmas Present" here, and "The Word" by clicking here. My poem "The Truth" fitted into a carol concert rather well at the beginning.  I read it here.

Easter and Lent

Good Friday is a big event in our choir's calendar.  I wrote "Corpus Christi""Denial", "The Crossing", "Holy Saturday" and "Morning Triptych" for various Good Friday meditations. 

There are sound files here also for "Corpus Christi", "Holy Saturday" and "Morning Triptych".

Inspired by cathedrals

I am fond of visiting cathedrals and have written several poems inspired by what I have seen.  One of the first poems I wrote was "The Font as Salisbury Cathedral"which I also read here, and "Sound II in Winchester Cathedral", inspired by a sculpture in the crypt, I read that here also.  You can probably tell that one of my favourite words is "still" which has also inspired needlework.

Inspired by nature

I wrote "Fiat Nox"about the night sky and how, counter-intuitively, it is easier to see in the dark than in the light.  You can find information about the campaign for dark skies such as the one at Kielder here.  And I include a sound file of the poem here.

My favourite season is Autumn, and my poem of the same title reflects why I think it is so special.  And "The Wind" is about the exhilaration of a windy day alongside its danger.

Inspired by Literature

I am often inspired by something I have read.  Biblical passages can inspire poems such as "My 23rd Psalm" which I stitched into one of my burse and veil sets.  But poems have arisen from other literature too.  Robyn Cadwallader's excellent novel "The Anchoress" led me to write "Sealed in Cells" which I also read here and "Words" which I read here.

Personal experience

My poem "Chronic Fatigue", which I also read here, was written after suffering from the condition for a while.  I wrote "The Lies of a Mirror" as an attempt to explore why I don't completely recognise myself in a mirror.

General Philosophical and Spiritual reflection

"Labyrinth", which I read here and "Peregrination" which I read here are reflective of different spiritual traditions of the journey of life and/or prayer.
"Learning to Swim", read here, is a musing on aging.  "Dark Radiance", read here, is about God being universe sized and not man-sized.
"God Speaks" is short and simple, but I am fond of it - it's about how we don't listen half as closely to the positive things, as we do the the negative things.


Copyright (c) Eleanor Zuercher 2014-2019.  All rights reserved.