Friday, 23 April 2010

St George's Day

Raphael: Le cheval qui rire*
Horse: 'Nice one Georgie lad, now let's go for a drink'.

Apart from all the red crosses in the windows - and I am glad to see them triumphantly struggling to be reborn as celebration (as they should be) rather than as resentment - it is, I have been kindly reminded twice, my name / Saints day.

Saint's days always remind me of the scene in Chekhov's The Three Sisters where the old doctor, Schebutykin, presents Irina, the youngest of the three sisters, with an expensive samovar on her saint's day, whereupon her older sister, Olga, covers her face with her hands and cries: A samovar! This is dreadful!

I feel a bit of a fake for the following reasons:

Born as Gábor, meaning Gabriel
With György as George, a dubious second,
Adding on Miklós as Nick for third,
An archangel may well be reckoned
Something above the average Ariel
Or any fierce heraldic bird.

But, in transit George took over
And angel became dragon slayer,
A Palestinian Christian saint,
A slightly dubious second layer
Of self, less name than failsafe cover,
Aged like craquelure on paint.

There’s still a name left, one unnoted
On my passport, yet provided
As initial on my credit card.
How come this name has been elided,
So fundamentally demoted?
Old Nick’s not gone, just 'en retard'.

Poet greets himself with a verse.

I held this over from yesterday because of Peter's death. Even now it seems all too frivolous and light, but the sun is out. There should be some frivolity and lightness. It's good for the spirit.

*(Thanks to Nell, who sent it the picture.)


Coirí Filíochta said...

I thought I had it confusing being the son of June Pauline known as Pauline not June, a mum from Dublin whose parents from Bohola, moved to Liveprool when she was 13 - where she met dad, Jeremiah, born in Preston the son of a labourer, Cornelius Desmond, and an Achill widow with a son born in Canada to a Polish father, dad thinks, but which may be Check or possibly Ukrainian or even Russian, going on the name: Eddie Kopek, an uncle with a voice of human birdsong, come day go day god send sunday, died in 58 after falling from scaffold on a building site.

Dad had it worst of all. He moved to Dunblane in Scotland at five, where his mother's island relatives were, and got it for speaking with an English accent, then got it for sounding Scottish when he moved to Achill at 13, before returning to Liverpool in 58.

It took me two years of constant waffle to work it out in print, the names, the names, Caoimhghín Sean Deasmuman, kweevin sean dasoon

Kevin John Desmond, that's my name Gabes.

Thanks George, you are a star.

I hadn't come across it being Georges day at all. Wordsworth died on this day, Shakespeare's dob and dod, 23 April, perfect poetry 365/1 odds of it.

Are you on the Cleggie love in yet George?

Marina Hyde wrote a very on-fire article yesterday about 'spin alley', the studio immediately after a presidential debate, where the various supporters try and tell you what it is you've just witnessed, all saying their one won.

'The venue was an interactive science museum in Bristol, magically transformed by Rupert Murdoch's news network into a fully operational 10th circle of hell. Behold, the cream of Britain's arseoisie, as journalists, spin doctors and politicians interact in scenes that just scream "Come, friendly bombs"

To the left, George Osborne robotically repeating 'David Cameron showed passion, leadership and commitment.' To the right, Michael Gove simulating anguish that Nick Clegg should have referred to the dead Polish president's party as nutters: 'The sort of comment that no one who wants to be taken seriously should utter.' In the middle, Alastair Campbell failing to pull off sang froid: 'It's a poll, it's a poll – you can take them or leave them.' And unifying the picture, Sky's endlessly pant-wetting coverage of its own coverage.'

Angela France said...

I too have seen more St George's flags and been cheered by them. It is past time it was reclaimed from the bigots and extremists. I blogged about it too: