New Beginnings: The Art of World-Making

The Art of World-Making | Sarah Adegbite

Numerous universes might have been botched and bungled throughout eternity, ere this system was struck out, much labour lost, many fruitless trials made, and a slow but continual improvement carried out during infinite ages in the art of world making.

David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779)

There is a froth

at your lips,

ocean waves churning.

As you speak

between the gaps I leave

upon a burning tongue.

It is not easy,

what you do:

to capture pain

in the knife of every poem

is recipe for a


Nobody ever tells you that

thoughts have fists

until you end up with a black eye,

like a moon shadowed.

Three years of writer’s block

is enough to leave even

the best of us mute.

We have no experience in

the art of world-making:

how to form a universe

creatio ex nihilo

and fill it with things that question


About The Art of World-Making

Studying Theology as a person of faith is both a privilege and a challenge. You get to explore beliefs and ideas that shape your being, but it also means that every day you are confronted not only with the academic but issues of personal identity, of what it means to be human.

I’m realising this is pretty heavy stuff for Zeteo’s first post of the new year (whoops!), but I think it needs to be heard.

During your time at Cambridge, and in the years beyond, you will be confronted with challenges to faith. If I’ve learnt anything over the past year it is that we must press into questions, not push them away.

I remember reading about David Hume, and 18th-century Scottish philosopher. One of the challenges he posed to traditional Christianity was the idea that God did not create a perfect world from nothing, hypothesising that perhaps our universe came about after many failed attempts of a lesser deity, until a ‘suitable’ one came to be.

This poem for me is a ‘pressing-in’ to the question of creation and the nature of God. As a new year begins, new freshers arrive, new questions are asked and new books are read, my prayer is that we can hold up our doubts to the light instead of leaving them in the shadows.

With Christ, every moment can be a new beginning, the start of a fresh poem. Set pen to page this year, speak the words God has placed on your lips.