The Night of the Murdered Poets

August 12, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, PETER'S WRITING, Poetry |

August 12th: Like those who brook no argument, Sinning, call others to repent And lash the ones who speak their mind, Put-out eyes of the hopeless blind, So they shout-down common verse And let the imp of the perverse, Shred the words still warm on lips: Let books slip from fingertips. Hating all who think wrong things Their toxic torment a gift which brings More torture still, more calumny For the straw-stuffed enemy. So they charged the poets with Treason and rhyme; they chose to live Through words that carried truth revealed And strove and sought, refused to yield. They hanged them high…

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The Fireside Book (of David Hope)

We're missing a deer. The Fireside Book of David Hope 1975.

The first Fireside Book of David Hope (“A picture and a poem for every mood, chosen by David Hope”) was printed and published by D C Thomson & Co Ltd (Dundee and London).  The copy which L owns and treasures has “Christmas 1967” hand-written inside the front cover, although the book itself is not dated.  This copy (below) came into the TVC household decades after its birth, when P found it in a second-hand bookshop. Our very first Fireside Book was given to L for Christmas 1972.  The dust jacket of this 1973 edition tells how well-loved it has been.  It has been…

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The Poet Obama

"Who are you, really?"

Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961) President Obama was a real smoothie, His act seemed straight out of a movie, He’d gaze at crowds to gauge their awe, Say “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” You moved, so he slapped a tax on thee, Regulated to a halt, then a subsidy Was wielded at the end of the nation’s rope, Thus proving the audacity of hope. “There has never been anything false about hope” A self-serving virtue, a dog-tired trope. From the Levant we do a moonlight flit, “Change will not come if we wait for it.” He swaggered,…

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Dante Defeats Disappointment

Image of Dante by Agnolo Bronzino

Giosuè Carducci (27 July 1835 to 16 February 1907) refused the Dante Chair in Rome because, among other things, he feared its politicisation, no doubt correctly. Yet it must have rankled because Carducci knew what many of the wise knew: that the life and work of Dante Alighieri is a miraculous example to all. In these times of artistic, financial, intellectual and moral bankruptcy, verged on a new theocratic age, it is salutary to consider this extract of Carducci’s poem to Dante: “Dante, how comes it that my vows I pay To thy proud image? Still I meditate The verse…

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“I am monarch of all I survey”

February 2, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Fiction, HISTORY, Poetry, WRITING & LITERATURE |

(Selkirk on his island c/- Hopea114y)

February 2nd (1709) – Regretful beachcomber Alexander Selkirk is rescued. Selkirk’s sojourn inspired Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, regarded as the first genuine English novel, and the following poem by William Cowper: Alexander Selkirk during his Solitary Abode in the Island of Juan Fernandez I am monarch of all I survey; My right there is none to dispute; From the centre all round to the sea I am lord of the fowl and the brute. O Solitude! where are the charms That sages have seen in thy face? Better dwell in the midst of alarms Than reign in this horrible place.   I…

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