20 Questions: Valerie Bloom
The poet Valerie Bloom gives 20 answers
Pick three words to describe your life.
Hectic. Varied. Blessed.
When did you last pray?
About five minutes ago.
Why did you last pray?
Because I always take every opportunity I can get to talk to my Saviour.
What is your favourite time of year?
Where would you like your mortal remains to go?
To be honest, I do not mind, because I know that when my Saviour comes I will have a new body.
Who was your first pet?
A dog called Patches.
What is your favourite hymn?
So many favourites, but I do like ‘How Great Thou Art’.
Do you dance?
I have been known to dance, yes!
Are things getting better or worse?
They are getting worse. And this is something that we have been warned about: towards the end of time things will get worse.
What makes you laugh?
What makes you cry?
Children. I do not like to see suffering, so that makes me sad. Also parting, and losing loved ones, of course. But the Psalms make me laugh.
What is your proudest achievement?
Having my children. Although, having an MBE from the Queen comes a good second.
Which Old Testament character would you most like to meet?
Moses, I think. He was known as the meekest man, and yet he had been given so much responsibility by the Lord and carried it out faithfully.
What was your favourite school subject?
English – the only one I was good at.
Who was your childhood hero?
Louise Bennett, the first poet to write in Jamaican patois – the language of Jamaica. She spoke our language, and, when I started writing poetry, my poems were copies of Louise Bennett. She started me on my career.
What is your favourite bit of the Bible?
Hebrews, where it talks about Jesus being our High Priest.
What is your least favourite bit of the Bible?
What is your favourite phrase from another language?
Probably Que sera …
What would be your one question to God?
How long? How long before we leave this place? Because at the moment it is getting unbearable – so much suffering, so much sin. We long for a new home.
Is there life after death?
Not in the sense that there is an immortal soul, because the Bible says that God alone is immortal. But I do believe we can have life after death if we believe in God because he promises we will be resurrected.
What is your most favoured charity?
Save the Children.
Valerie Bloom is a writer and performance poet. Her latest book is Jaws and Claws and Things with Wings (Harper Collins, 2013, £5.55, ISBN 9780007465392). She was speaking to Reform at Greenbelt festival
This article was published in the October 2016 edition of Reform.