25 November 2020

Philology

I think ... you could evidentially falsify this if you want to be a spoil-sport ... that the leader of our current de facto regime here in Blighty has recently abandoned two of his favourite 'hot air' rhetorical phrases, World-Class and World-Beating.

A pity. I loved them. They gave me a warm sense of familiarity, and they always had the capacity to set my mind wandering. "World-Beating Health Service" ... Really? Is it quite as bad as that? And then I would construct fantasies of Bojo gazing into camera with that direct, mesmerising look of utterly convincing frank sincerity, and mouthing phrases like:

"Our World-Class radio-active dumps."

"Our World-Beating criminal classes."

"Our World-Class utterly terrible books on Churchill." 

"Our World-Beating National Hypocrisy."

"Our World-Beating Russian Oligarchs."

Et similia.


4 comments:

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. An excellent poem on this sad anniversary

Down by the flash of the restless water
The dim White Ship like a white bird lay;
Laughing at life and the world they sought her,
And out she swung to the silvering bay.
Then off they flew on their roystering way,
And the keen moon fired the light foam flying
Up from the flood where the faint stars play,
And the bones of the brave in the wave are lying.

'T was a king's fair son with a king's fair daughter,
And full three hundred beside, they say, --
Revelling on for the lone, cold slaughter
So soon to seize them and hide them for aye;
But they danced and they drank and their souls grew gay,
Nor ever they knew of a ghoul's eye spying
Their splendor a flickering phantom to stray
Where the bones of the brave in the wave are lying.

Through the mist of a drunken dream they brought her
(This wild white bird) for the sea-fiend's prey:
The pitiless reef in his hard clutch caught her,
And hurled her down where the dead men stay.
A torturing silence of wan dismay --
Shrieks and curses of mad souls dying --
Then down they sank to slumber and sway
Where the bones of the brave in the wave are lying.

ENVOY

Prince, do you sleep to the sound alway
Of the mournful surge and the sea-birds' crying? --
Or does love still shudder and steel still slay,
Where the bones of the brave in the wave are lying?

John Patrick said...

At least the leader of your regime is (as far as I know) also de jure as well as de facto. Not sure about the situation here in the US, where the de facto (according to the media) President and VP elect may or may not be de jure. But then I don't think you have converted to the "world beating" Dominion Voting System yet.

Matthew F Kluk said...

Marvelous poem!

Fr Allan said...

The Ballade of the Ship is magnificent, and the story of its writer Edwin Arlington Robinson is fascinating and moving. But I do not understand the connection between the poem and the Bojo/Trumpian linguistic style to which Father refers. And (forgive my ignorance): wat is the annversary referenced here?

Fr Allan