The unelected prime minister has obviously been reading the D-Day Remembrance Blues posted here a while back for Snotman is at it again, fucking up the language as only he can; this time hoping to grow bardic, hoping to display a poet's sensitivity, as though the people will flock, then, to his lyrical banner and reinstall him, legitimised, the horrible fucking bastard, behind the levers of Power.
The great, hulking, fucked-up behemoth is taking the counsel of former Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, in an effort to cool-up his God fucking awful delivery of tractor production stats and his impudent, son of the fucking manse sermonising. Seems that the rotten, cowardly bully is taken not with the unspeakable, furtive, nail-biting, melancholy doggerel of his own Rabbie Burns but with one of England's best, Thomas Gray and particularly his Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard:
"Mr Brown has already made clear his liking of the poem, writing last year: "British literature is full of laments for talent wasted, potential unfulfilled and opportunities forgone. Just think of Thomas Gray in his 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard' reflecting sadly on the unfulfilled, unnoticed fate of a 'mute inglorious Milton'."
Mr Snot would annex and manipulate Gray's Elegy as an expression of his tyrannical Vaaaal-ewes, when it is nothing of the sort; as though Gray was saying, For the Many, Not the Few, Forward with NewLabour. In this, as in everything, the snotty moron is mistaken, so completely absurd is this posturing as to eclipse his previous cultural malapropism, his trumpeted affection for the Arctic Monkeys, the horrible fucking bastard.
"British literature is full of laments for talent wasted, potential unfulfilled and opportunities forgone." says Brown "And I am the right person to remedy this state of affairs" seems to hang in the air. Leave aside that only a snivelling, cock-sucking politician would describe English Literature as British literature - what the fuck is British Literature? nobody studies British Literature, it is English Literature the world consumes - his understanding of the poem is fragile at best, seizing a misunderstood fragment to bolster his self-championing as the man who, though he cannot refrain from unsavoury, oral bad habits, can liberate all from drudgery, all shall shine, if only he is -I was going to say re-elected but you know what I mean. So gross his vanity that he thinks that all strive, like himself, for supremacy. It remains a fixed Blairism that all must have degrees, that honest toil is insufficient, all must have prizes; all jobs must be graduate jobs, hairdressing, labouring, farming, scaffolding, bricklaying, a double first in hod-carrying; it is one impudence among many; scraps of paper are no substitute for learning, practice, art and craft. And now, when few craftsmen survive untrampled by the dire Thatcher's City spivs, the governing class bleats, belatedly, of apprenticeship, only not for them and definitely not for their spawn; now, when few feel teaching to be a vocation, the obnoxious, sticky-fingered Balls throws up his targeting, micro-managing, statist hands in desperation crying We Will Let Them Teach!
Gray's Elegy chides that we should not Let Ambition mock their (the ordinary person's) useful toil, should not dismiss The short and simple annals of the poor, Far from the Madding Crowd's infernal strife. Brown upends, recasts the abiding sentiment of the poem in shades of his own vileness, the horrible fucking bastard. Brown is really saying "British Literature is full of laments for talent wasted, potential unfulfilled but I can change all that." Crass, vain, shallow and conceited this freak now dragoons even poetry to his lost, rancid cause, stealing one misunderstood line and making of it a NuLabour Manifesto; damning, also, the supposed natural modesty of his Presbyterianism; a personality from childhood, at his father's knee, deformed by ambition; shifty, cowardly, ignoble it is not his political actions which grow, as he insists, trans-pair-ent but his rotten, black soul.
The mountains of dead, refugee, maimed and tortured; the jobless and homeless, the indebted, the penurious elderly, the unschoolable, homicidal young, and the feasting jackals of parliament, the banks and the media, these are Brown's bitter, discordant achievements and a regiment of Poet Laureates would not render then harmonious.
- "ELEGY WRITTEN IN
A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD"
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share,
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the Poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th' inevitable hour:-
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre:
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.
Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbad: nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;
Forbad to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.
Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing lingering look behind?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, --
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
"Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn;
"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high.
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
"Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove;
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love.
"One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill,
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;
"The next with dirges due in sad array
Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne,-
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."
- The Epitaph
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.
Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melacholy marked him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Misery all he had, a tear,
He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode
(There they alike in trembling hope repose),
The bosom of his Father and his God.
By Thomas Gray (1716-71).
"....... Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined: Forbad to wade through slaughter to a throne, Or shut the gates of mercy on mankind."