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Been looking for this:

Just remembered where I'd found James Fenton's poem, The Ideal, read it on the train to work. It's not much more than doggerel.

(or am I being unnecessarily harsh because it's simple? Simple but good is the most difficult thing to achieve, but then Patience Strong is simple and awful. My gran used to have copies of poems by Patience Strong, all of them about grief, written in her crabbed "five years of school then off to the factories with you" hand, so they spoke to her and she was not a stupid woman. Just unlucky enough to be smart but born in 1905 in a two-up, two-down on Hessle Road, the oldest of 10.)

I still love it. There's something about its final stanza:

"This is my past
Which I shall not discard.
This is the ideal.
This is hard."


Can't explain it, I just like it. Not as much as Heaney's The Rescue though *g*:

In drifts of sleep I came upon you
Buried to your waist in snow.
You reached your arms out: I came to
Like water in a dream of thaw


Can you tell I'm at work at all? *g*

Actual soundtrack: Shouting and pre-deadline wankery

Desired soundtrack: Durufle's requiem or something else similarly soothing.

How close I am to committing murder by defenestration on a 1-10 scale: About a six but the night is young.

. . .

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