Thursday, 5 August 2010


More from the Great Book Cull. Fairly self-explanatory. Not a great poem, more a fancy note to myself.


Lionel Abel Smith’s Holiday Task
1909: Oliver Cromwell
by Frederic Harrison, Macmillan,
First edition June 1888.
A boy, I imagine, but googling find
he was perhaps Brigadier General
and so very much up to the challenge.

April – so the Easter holiday then.
We mustn’t start imagining beaches
and comical striped swimming togs
but rather a rectory somewhere
in Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire or Berks
and a willow tree swinging gently.

Do you wonder whether he achieved it
this singularly unrelaxing brief?
He did: On page 1 we find underlined
Knights of Hinchinbrook and on page 6
marginalia: “rather like Napoleon’s
father & mother”; on 221
“They make a wilderness and call it peace”
underscored, which makes me think there may be
something to be said for Brigadier Generals.

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