Thursday, January 20, 2011

My blog award and Wilfred Owen (in no particular order)


How fab is this? I received my first blog award today.

And probably my last ever.

It was the Life is Good Award and it was from Tim Riley at Life of Riles . Admittedly, Tim was actually given the award by PM Taylor at This, That and the Other One, and passed it on, but I'm not choosy.

I'll eat cakes that have been lying around the newsroom for a couple of days. I might draw the line at Tim's second hand clothes, but I will accept the award with my flippers outstretched in the manner of a seal about to be handed a big, juicy kipper.

As I may have mentioned before, Tim's one of the nicest and most regular guys out there in the blogisphere. He's been through family tragedy and wider tragedy, living in Tuscon, Arizona. You'd want him next to you in the trenches but, failing that, in the classroom, which is the next best thing these days.

And, strangely enough, in my brief period on the front line in the classrooms, I'd think of the trenches to get me through. Mainly the war poet Wilfred Owen who'd help me illustrate alliteration and onomatopoeia to the likes of Ed Watson, when he wasn't walking round my classroom and kicking my fan around with his pants hanging down round his ankles. Watson as opposed to Owen.

"Sit down and leave my Number One Fan alone," I'd say in a desperate attempt at humor.

"Uhhhh?"

Still I clung to Anthem for Doomed Youth in the belief that it's one of the best war poems ever written. Still I kept a candle lit for Owen who died on the last day of the First World War. Still I thought of Owen and the holy glimmers of goodbyes.

Owen who died for freedom so as Ed Watson could kick the crap out of my fan.


Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?

Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, –
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.


September - October, 1917

14 comments:

  1. Was so pleased when I saw Tim had "re-gifted" his award to you! I gave your blog a shout out over at "Coffey. Tea. And Literary" the other day - truly deserving.

    Best -

    PMT
    http://thisthattheotherone.blogspot.com

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  2. Nice one, I am sure it's the first of many.
    Cheers, Sausage...

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  3. Your blog is good, this will be the first of many, that I can assure you :0) Congrats!

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  4. Thanks for the kind words David. Ed Watson and his sagging pants crack me up.

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  5. Thnaks PM - I'll have to check out Coffey. Most kind, Oilfield. well - who knows, Sausage Fingers. You are far too kind, Marine. Thanks again, Tim - sure you have students like Ed too.

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  6. Congrats on the award. :) I'm going to disagree with you and predict it is the first of many to come! Your blog is THAT good!

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  7. Congratulations on the award, David. It is richly deserved. :) Have a good weekend!

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  8. Owen who died for freedom so as Ed Watson could kick the crap out of my fan.

    Your sense of humor is a lot like mine.

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  9. Funnily enough, when things get bad here, my eventual thought (after self-pity) as that it was so much worse in the trenches (so buck up!).

    I studied the War Poets at school - marvellous, and so moving especially when you remember how old they were. Ed Watson sounds like he wouldn't know what moving was it if hit him round the head with a wet fish.

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  10. Congratulations on your award.
    Great poem. Poets can be so clear about difficult things and feelings.

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  11. This poem makes me shiver every time. I had to teach it to GCSE English students, and even they 'got' it.

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  12. Thanx Jennifer, yours too; I imagine you've had a lot of awards. Too kind Daisy, have a great one too. Thanks Suzzy, I fear it is. I love the war poets, do things really get bad in France, Sarah? Thanks Olga, hope you are doing well. Wow impressive Talli. It's certainly one of my favorite war poems..

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