I am continually astonished by the range of emotion that Philip J. Mather can bring to a poem. Having listened to more than 10 of his war poems I find that he has the uncanny ability to match tone and pace to the emotional message of a poem. Well done.
The poem itself was beautiful. It had a classic tone to it, as the poet calls on England to go forth to war and recalls past commanders and glories. It is a call to arms, a call for struggle, and also a prayer, for the poet is by no means certain that England shall prevail.
With the line ending each stanza being, "Pray that God defend the Right", there is a clear religious undertone to the poem and I wonder how soldiers these days would view it.
This is a poem from the early days of the Great War, written by an Englishman, it is both a love poem of sorts for England and an exhortation for its people to come together in this hour of need, to fight as brothers against England's foes, to restore honor and justice to the world, and to set aside all petty differences until victory has been secured.
It is a highly patriotic poem, one in which the cost of war is not articulated in all its horror. It is a call to arms, one of many war poems at the beginning of the war, before its true nature came to light and with it the disenchantment of so many soldiers.
While not as fine as other war poems such as In Flanders Fields or For All We Have And Are, It is a well-written poem and it is narrated beautifully by Mr. Mather.
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
Ovid -- the David Bowie of Latin literature. I chewed on this book of myth-poems the entire time I was tramping around Rome. I was looking for the right words to describe my feelings about it. It isn't that I didn't like it. It is an unequivocal masterpiece. I'm amazed by it. I see Ovid's genes in everything (paintings, sculptures, poems and prose). He is both modern and classic, reverent and wicked, lovely and obscene all at once. It is just hard to wrestle him down. To pin my thoughts about 'the Metamorphoses' into words. Structure really fails me.
That I guess is the sign for me of a book's depth or success with me. It makes me wish I could read it in the original form. I'm not satisfied with Dante in English. I want him in Italian. I'm not satisfied with Ovid in English. I want to experience his poetry, his playfulness, his wit in Latin.
I still prefer the poetry of Homer and Dante, but Ovid isn't embarrassed by the company of the greats; so not Zeus or Neptune, but maybe Apollo.