Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

FOR LIFE, NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS

It is my great good fortune to have a wife who passionately loves books and, as a result, I frequently receive the gift of a book for a birthday or Christmas present, or, more often than not, on some unspecified occasion when I least expect it.
Jane recently gave me a poetry anthology by the playwright, Alan Bennett, entitled Six Poets, Hardy to Larkin, which has proved an unqualified joy. I heartily recommend it to anyone interested in Twentieth Century poetry.
The book features poems by six writers: Hardy, Housman, Betjeman, Auden, MacNeice and Larkin, and each poem is prefaced by Bennett’s personal thoughts about it, written in the deceptively simple style for which he is known. 


Here’s a short poem by Thomas Hardy, written when he was eighty-nine. Its title is Christmas 1924 but, sadly, it's equally relevant to our world today.




CHRISTMAS: 1924

‘Peace upon earth’ was said. We sing it,
And pay a million priests to bring it.

After two thousand years of mass
We’ve got as far as poison-gas. 


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