Sunday, 18 July 2021

A Poem for "Freedom Day"

Grumpy old man"Grumpy old man" by Spamily is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The United Kingdom has lived under a significant level of restrictions for much of the pandemic and most of these are being lifted on Monday, 19 July, dubbed 'Freedom Day' by the press. With the number of Covid cases on the rise, there are mixed feelings about this. Public opinion about the easing of restrictions is divided, and many clinically vulnerable people are preparing to restrict their movements and interactions in order to keep themselves safe.
For myself, I plan to continue living as quietly and cautiously as I can; here is a poem that helps me see the humour in this. I hope it makes you smile too.

Wishes of an Elderly Man, Wished at a Garden Party, June 1914

I wish I loved the Human Race;
I wish I loved its silly face;
I wish I liked the way it walks;
I wish I liked the way it talks;
And when I'm introduced to one
I wish I thought What Jolly Fun!  

~ Walter Alexander Raleigh, reprinted in the Zoo of the New, ed. Nick Laird and Don Paterson (London, 2017), p. 425.

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Learning from the Best: Reflections on IMC 2021

This past week was the second virtual International Medieval Congress--one of the world's largest gatherings of scholars and students of the Middle Ages. For many medievalists, it's known simply after its location, Leeds (as in 'are you giving a paper at Leeds this year?')