Posted by: John Looker | 13 March, 2022

The astonishing courage of a woman

International Women’s Day prompted me to look back at my recent book. There’s this poem in it. A migrant’s story – the astonishing courage of Ruth, a foreigner who became a Jewish heroine.

Ruth on the Road to Judah

This comes from Shimmering Horizons (Bennison Books 2021). For other extracts, see:

Shimmering Horizons (extracts)


  1. In the beginning was the Word.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your entire book is so strong, John. I just looked at Shimmering Horizons again. The structure threw me a bit at first, but now that I’ve figured it out, I am just impressed. This poem, with its Biblical references, is just outstanding. It is also an appropriate poem for International women’s day, especially in this time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. You are just an outstanding poet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tom – thank you very much indeed. As you have understood, this poem can be seen as one of a suite as well as a stand-alone piece (and that suite one of a series). So glad you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just LOVE this poem, John! Thank you for sharing it here…so timely! and heartbreakingly true.


    • Hi Julie. Thank you so much. As you liked this one, you might like to check out some of the others from the book – I’ve posted several on this blog at the dedicated page. ‘Shimmering Horizons’ celebrates the human spirit in us all. The opening section has a young man as a 21st century Galahad (the quest) and therefore the closing section (the homecoming) portrays a woman as a 21st century Odysseus (I’ve named her Odyssea).
      Hope you are well. Best wishes, J


  4. Very moving John, even more so at this difficult time we find ourselves in. Which also goes to show that good poetry is universal in its reach!


    • It’s very good to hear from you Kalila, and thanks. I hope you are keeping well down there. In England we are just creeping out of winter into spring, which is nice – but our minds are overwhelmingly focused on the appalling war in Ukraine. Such unbelievable times.


  5. Wow. A powerful retelling of an ancient tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cynthia. It’s nice to hear from you – I’m delighted the poem resonates with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “the road home tugging like an umbilical cord.” Excellent line.


    • Thank you Brian. I remember that line coming to mind fully formed and wondering where it came from! Hope you are well with all these Covid varieties floating around.


  7. Best Woman Blog


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