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 Betreff des Beitrags: Poets and Politicians
BeitragVerfasst: 25. Nov 2010, 22:59 
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Titel: Widu
Norman McCaig (14/11/1910 - 23/1/1996) was a Scottish poet whose work was noted for its lucidity and simplicity of language. He spent his working days in Edinburgh, and his holidays in the West Highlands of Scotland (Assynt), where he enjoyed fishing in the many mountain lochs in the area. "So Many Summers" is a poem inspired by these visits.

Beside one loch, a hind’s neat skeleton
Beside another, a boat pulled high and dry:
Two neat geometries drawn in the weather:
Two things already dead and still to die.

I passed them every summer, rod in hand,
Skirting the bright blue or the spitting gray,
And, every summer, saw how the bleached timbers
Gaped wider and the neat ribs fell away.

Time adds one malice to another one -
Now you’d look very close before you knew
If it’s the boat that ran, the hind went sailing.
So many summers, and I have lived them too.

His later poems (after the death of his wife) appear to be full of heartbreak, but they never became pessimistic. An example of this is his poem "Praise of a Man" which was quoted by Gordon Brown in the eulogy he gave at the funeral of Robin Cook in 2005.

The beneficent lights dim
but don't vanish. The razory edges
dull, but still cut. He's gone: but you can see
his tracks still, in the snow of the world.

Robin Cook, who was British Foreign Secretary from 1997 - 2001, resigned from his cabinet post in 2003 as a protest against the decision to invade Iraq - he was a man of principle.
Though they were both in the same political party, Gordon Brown and Robin Cook hated each other for decades. The personal animosity disappeared when Cook resigned from the government (and was no longer a rival to Brown).
Tony Blair was unable to attend Cook's funeral as he was on holiday at the time!


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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: Poets and Politicians
BeitragVerfasst: 25. Nov 2010, 23:12 
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Andy hat geschrieben:
Robin Cook, who was British Foreign Secretary from 1997 - 2001, resigned from his cabinet post in 2003 as a protest against the decision to invade Iraq - he was a man of principle.
Though they were both in the same political party, Gordon Brown and Robin Cook hated each other for decades. The personal animosity disappeared when Cook resigned from the government (and was no longer a rival to Brown).
Tony Blair was unable to attend Cook's funeral as he was on holiday at the time!


Robert Finlayson Cook - to give him his full Scottish name. :)

_________________
Gnädigster und durchlauchtigster aller Lords der Highlands and Islands, Bezwinger des Loch-Ness-Monsters,
Freund der Stewarts, Herrscher über Caithness, Orkney and Shetland,
Fürst der Fair Isle und der nördlichen Nordsee, Lord of Inverness,
gefürsteter Herzog von Drumnadrochit, Blairgowrie and Dunkeld


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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: Poets and Politicians
BeitragVerfasst: 26. Nov 2010, 00:41 
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Titel: Widu
The conclusion to Robin Cook's resignation speech is shown below.


What has come to trouble me most over past weeks is the suspicion that if the hanging chads in Florida had gone the other way and Al Gore had been elected, we would not now be about to commit British troops.

The longer that I have served in this place, the greater the respect I have for the good sense and collective wisdom of the British people.

On Iraq, I believe that the prevailing mood of the British people is sound. They do not doubt that Saddam is a brutal dictator, but they are not persuaded that he is a clear and present danger to Britain.

They want inspections to be given a chance, and they suspect that they are being pushed too quickly into conflict by a US Administration with an agenda of its own.

Above all, they are uneasy at Britain going out on a limb on a military adventure without a broader international coalition and against the hostility of many of our traditional allies.

From the start of the present crisis, I have insisted, as Leader of the House, on the right of this place to vote on whether Britain should go to war.

It has been a favourite theme of commentators that this House no longer occupies a central role in British politics.

Nothing could better demonstrate that they are wrong than for this House to stop the commitment of troops in a war that has neither international agreement nor domestic support.

I intend to join those tomorrow night who will vote against military action now. It is for that reason, and for that reason alone, and with a heavy heart, that I resign from the government.


As I said earlier, he was a man of principle - but what else would you expect from someone whose father was a Chemistry teacher who grew up in Fraserburgh! :wink:


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