The Power and the Wisdom

When you’ve been a preacher

You learn the power of words

You feel their force

Their rhyme their rhythm

Their swaying power

To bless to curse


And when you’ve been a teacher

Standing before a class

Addressing them for hours

In lectures to the mass

You know how to enthral them

How to hold their gaze

That daily repetition

Never ceases to amaze


And so re-reading McKenzie

I hear him in the hall

The structure of his sentences

Like pictures on the wall

He knows these words will linger

He knows the power they bring

The lectures of his lifetime

One more time will sing


Brian Fahy

26 August 2022


+ I have just ordered my own copy of The Power and the Wisdom, first published in 1965 and reprinted in 2009. From reading the words on the page it is clear that the author was a public speaker. It is as if you are once again in the lecture hall and the professor is at the podium. I shall enjoy this book again and leave it as a gift to my son and grandsons.


John L McKenzie (1910 – 1991) priest, Scripture scholar, teacher, author.

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