Monday, 18 June 2012

Britain says "Happy Birthday" to an old rocker called Paul McCartney, an old poet called Geoffrey Hill and an old blogger called JohnBoy

Paul McCartney was born on this day 5 years before me and is 70 today, Geoffrey Hill was born 10 years before Paul and is 80 today which means that this old Post Second World War baby boomer is 65 today.

Paul is one of the most famous geminians in the world and needs no description, but what you possibly didn't know about Geoffrey is that he :

* was born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire where at the age of 11 he went to grammar school and as a an only child, developed the habit of going for long walks alone and as an adolescent deliberated and composed poems as he muttered to the stones and trees carrying a copy of Oscar Williams' 'Little Teasury of Modern Poetry' and late said  "there was probably a time when I knew every poem in that anthology by heart."

* in 1950, went to Keble College, Oxford to read English, where he published his first poems at the age of twenty and then on graduation started a teaching career in the universities of Leeds and Cambridge before moving to the USA as Professor of Literature and Religion at Boston University before moving back to Cambridge in 2006.

* in 2010, was the successful candidate in the election of the Professor of Poetry in the University of Oxford  with a broad base of academic support with 1,156 votes and became the 44th Professor of Poetry since the role was created in 1708.

Geoffrey interviewed :

              Requiem for the Plantagenet Kings

For whom the possessed sea littered, on both shores,
Ruinous arms; being fired, and for good,
To sound the constitution of just wards,
Men, in their eloquent fashion, understood.

Relieved of soul, the dropping-back of dust,
Their usage, pride, admitted within doors;
At home, under caved chantries, set in trust,
With well-dressed alabaster and proved spurs
They lie; they lie; secure in the decay
Of blood, blood-marks, crowns hacked and coveted,
Before the scouring fires of trial-day
Alight on men; before sleeked groin, gored head,
Budge through the clay and gravel, and the sea
Across daubed rock evacuates its dead.



No comments:

Post a Comment