Vibrant Verse: British Poetry as Occupied Territory

Tobias Langdon

The British Isles have given more than their share to science, literature and philosophy. But in other ways they have done less well, as the great Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) noted in one of his short stories. This is a German woman talking to the English spy Ashenden:

“You English, you cannot paint, you cannot model, you cannot write music.”
“Some of us can at times write pleasing verses,” said Ashenden,
[and], he did not know why, two lines occurring to him he said them: “Whither, O splendid ship, thy white sails crowding, Leaning across the bosom of the urgent West?”
“Yes,” said Mrs Caypor, with a strange gesture, “you can write
poetry. I wonder why.”
And to Ashenden’s surprise she went on, in her guttural English, to recite the next two lines of the poem he had quoted. (“The Traitor,” 1928)

Mrs Caypor was right. The British Isles have never produced a composer to compare with Beethoven or an artist to compare with Michelangelo. They haven’t even come close. But Milton compares with Dante and other great poets have graced these islands, from Burns and Yeats in Scotland and Ireland to Wordsworth and Thomas in England and Wales, from the home-grown Chaucer to the adopted T.S. Eliot. Britain has a golden poetic tradition. You can say that without hyperbole or irony.

“The laurels are all cut…”

And poetry matters. Like music, with which it has very old links, it is the deepest and most soul-stirring of the arts, possessing immense spiritual and symbolic power. In some ways it’s the heart of a nation’s culture, nourished by traditions that stretch back into prehistory. And that’s why those who hate a nation and its traditions will try to drive a stake through that poetic heart. If you want to harm Britain, attack its poetry. Cut down the groves, smash the sacred shrines!

That, at least, is my reading of a consistent pattern in British cultural life: the elevation of minority poets to undeserved prominence. Like classical music, poetry is a field where White men far outperform other groups — even the feminist Germaine Greer has admitted that women have never matched men there. But hers was a rare example of liberal honesty. The normal liberal reaction to the excellence of White men is denial and destruction. Take the post of Poet Laureate in Britain, an honour bestowed to recognize the merit and national standing of a poet. It has been filled in the past by stale pale greats like Wordsworth, Tennyson and Betjeman.

Today it is filled by the White lesbian Carol Ann Duffy (born 1955). I actually think she’s a better poet than her White male predecessor Andrew Motion, but she wasn’t appointed Laureate on merit. Rather, she’s there as yet another symbol of how Britannia Delenda Est  — “Britain must be destroyed,” its traditions overturned and its resources seized by outsiders and aliens. The hostile elite delight in inverting the traditional order whereby White heterosexual able-bodied males were the leaders and arbiters of Western culture. As a woman and a lesbian, Carol Ann Duffy is bursting with diversity points. That’s why she’s the Poet Laureate of Britain.

Reframing Scottishness

But Duffy is not as diverse as her former lover Jackie Kay (born 1961), the Black lesbian poet who is now Scotland’s National Makar (i.e., “maker,” which is the literal translation of the Greek poētēs). Described by the Guardian as “a popular choice to reframe Scottishness,” she succeeded the White Liz Lochhead, another startlingly bad poet. This is a sample of Kay’s vibrant verse:

My seventy-seven-year-old father
put his reading glasses on
to help my mother do the buttons|
on the back of her dress.
“What a pair the two of us are!”
my mother said, “Me with my sore wrist,
you with your bad eyes, your soft thumbs!”
And off they went, my two parents
to march against the war in Iraq,
him with his plastic hips. Her with her arthritis,
waved at each other like old friends, flapping,
where they’d met for so many marches over their years,
for peace on earth, for pity’s sake, for peace, for peace. (Jackie Kay: Scotland’s poet of the people, The Guardian, 20th March 2016)

Reframed Scot: the Black lesbian Jackie Kay

The poem describes her adoptive parents, a White (and possibly Jewish) couple who raised her after her Nigerian father, in typical Black fashion, impregnated a White woman and then took no responsibility for the child that followed. The Black father of the London terrorist Khalid Masood did the same. Unlike Masood, Kay hasn’t attacked Whites in Britain with a car or knife, but she’s hostile and subversive in her own and more prolonged way.

And that was possibly the intention of her adoptive parents, who were communists dedicated to the overthrow of the British state. When she met her real Black father many years later, he turned out to be a fundamentalist Christian who did not approve of her lesbianism. Non-White immigration is not good for the vibrant LGBT community, but the hostile elite don’t care: what matters is that non-White immigration is bad for Whites. Jackie Kay “reframes Scottishness” by negating Scottishness. She’s the reverse of Robert Burns in every way from her race and sex to her lack of talent. On raw diversity points, she should have beaten Carol Ann Duffy to the post of Poet Laureate for the whole of Britain.

After all, she is so devoted to Scotland that she lived for more than a decade in the English city of Manchester. But her Scottish accent didn’t fit her for the role of Laureate and even the hostile elite may have been embarrassed by the direness of her poetry.

Punjabi Poetaster

But dire poetry didn’t hold Maya Angelou (1928-2014) back in the United States, where the same hostile elite work to elevate the unworthy and alien. Angelou’s poetry has been regularly aired on the BBC, another subverted institution that works to destroy traditional Britain. For example, the spoken-word channel Radio 4 has appointed the male Punjabi Sikh Daljit Nagra (born 1966) as its “Poet in Residence.” Like Khalid Masood and Jackie Kay, he’s “British” in the sense that he was born here. Like Masood and Kay, he’s hostile to the White British and their traditions.

That’s precisely why he has been showered with awards and “has run workshops all over the world.” Like Jackie Kay, he’s a subversive outsider who attacks Britain with bad poetry rather than with terrorism. Unlike her, he has the cunning to disguise his lack of talent with pretension and obscurity. Here is a sample of his vibrant verse:

Stowed in the sea to invade
the lash alfresco of a diesel-breeze
ratcheting speed into the tide with the brunt
gobfuls of surf phlegmed by cushy,
come-and-go tourists prow’d on the cruisers, lording the waves.
Seagull and shoal life bletching
vexed blarnies at our camouflage past
the vast crumble of scummed cliffs.
Thunder in its bluster unbladdering yobbish
rain and wind on our escape, hutched in a Bedford can.
Seasons or years we reap
inland, unclocked by the national eye
or a stab in the back, teemed for breathing
sweeps of grass through the whistling asthma
of parks, burdened, hushed, poling sparks across pylon and pylon. [Etc] (“Look we have coming to Dover!”, 2006)

That poem helped win Nagra the Forward Prize for Poetry in 2007. It reminds me of a burning rubbish-tip: gusts of oily smoke obscure the broken TVs, rusting fridges and rotting food, so the precise meaning is difficult to make out. But he seems to be sneering at English xenophobia and celebrating the vibrant enrichment of England through the southern port of Dover.

The poem is also a reference to Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach” (1867), a haunting meditation on the decline of Christianity that is still well-known and widely quoted more than a century after it was first published. Arnold was a stale pale male and a great poet. Nagra is a vibrant melanic male and a poetaster (the useful Latin term meaning “bad poet”). His hostility to White Britain comes out clearly in the title of his collection Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger-Toy Machine!!! (2012). The title is refers to a famous Indian toy in the Victoria and Albert Museum:

The tiger, an almost life-sized wooden semi-automaton, mauls a European soldier lying on his back. Concealed inside the tiger’s body, behind a hinged flap, is an organ which can be operated by turning the handle next to it. This simultaneously makes the man’s arm lift up and down and produces noises intended to imitate his dying moans. (Tipus Tiger at the V&A)

Sultan Tippoo’s White-Eating Tiger

Dyslexic doggerel

With attitudes like that, Nagra is obviously an ideal Poet in Residence at the BBC. All the same, I would have preferred the Black Barbadian-Jamaican Benjamin Zephaniah (born 1958) in the role. But he might have been too crude and low-brow even for the hostile elite. Here is a sample of Zephaniah’s vibrant verse:

“The Death Of Joy Gardner”
They put a leather belt around her
13 feet of tape and bound her
Handcuffs to secure her
And only God knows what else,
Said the Empire that brought her
She died,
Nobody killed her
And she never killed herself.
It is our job to make her
Return to Jamaica
Said the Alien Deporters
Who deports people like me,
It was said she had a warning
That the officers were calling
On that deadly July morning
As her young son watched TV. [Etc] (“The Death Of Joy Gardner”)

Zephaniah aligns with Jackie Kay, not with Daljit Nagra: his poetry is undisguidedly bad, rather than obscurely so. The doggerel above is about Joy Gardner, a Black illegal immigrant who died when the police tried to restrain her for arrest and deportation.

Dyslexic with a degree: Benjamin Zephaniah

Zephaniah, who is “dyslexic” and couldn’t read or write at the age of thirteen according to Wikipedia, has spent decades writing bad poetry about Britain’s racism and xenophobia. He has promoted open borders in poems like “We Refugees”:

We all came from refugees
Nobody simply just appeared,
Nobody’s here without a struggle,
And why should we live in fear
Of the weather or the troubles?
We all came here from somewhere.

He’s clearly hostile to Britain, which is why our liberal elite have showered him with awards and honours. In 2003 they tried to add the Order of the British Empire (OBE) to his resumé.

Foremothers and forefathers

But the elite had misjudged their enricher. Zephaniah rejected the honour with angry contempt:

“Me? I thought, OBE me? Up yours, I thought. I get angry when I hear that word ‘empire’; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised. … Benjamin Zephaniah OBE — no way Mr Blair, no way Mrs Queen. I am profoundly anti-empire.” (Benjamin Zephaniah at Wikipedia)

If Zephaniah were genuinely concerned about rape, he would talk about the horrific sexual violence carried out by Blacks and other non-Whites not just in cities like London and his birth-place Birmingham, but also in towns like Rotherham and Oxford. He isn’t concerned, except as a way to feed his own resentment and hostility to Whites. If he didn’t carry out rapes himself during his days as a young criminal in Birmingham, he certainly knows about the genuine “rape culture” of the Black British underclass.

Liberalism is now powerless

Zephaniah’s stupidity and crudity are why I would have liked him to be Radio 4’s Poet in Residence. Alas, the hostile elite were too cunning and preferred to keep him at his subversive work elsewhere. At least, I would call it “subversive,” but what do I know? You might think that Jackie Kay, Daljit Nagra and Benjamin Zephaniah are all highly influential figures in modern British culture, living embodiments of liberal power.

But they aren’t, as two great Jewish intellectuals have recently explained in the Guardian. Here’s the anti-Islamist Nick Cohen:

Democracies consist of competing elites. But the elite that always matters is always the elite in power. In Britain’s case it is the pro-Brexit elite. In the case of the United States it is the Trump presidency and the Republican Congress. (Revolting! by Mick Hume review defence of a far-right democracy, The Guardian, 27th January 2017)

And here’s the American sociologist Michael Kimmel:

And this notion that the left is all so angry and censorious … it depends on ignoring one small technical detail: the left is not in power right now. The left does not have the power to be censorious. (‘Angry white men’: the sociologist who studied Trump’s base before Trump, The Guardian, 27th February 2017)

There you have it: liberalism has been thrust from power by Brexit and Donald Trump. Or so Cohen and Kimmel want us to believe. Their pretence that “the left” are currently powerless reminds me of the pretence that the murders carried out by Omar Mateen and Khalid Masood say “nothing about immigration.” In fact, the left continue to wield enormous power. They have followed Gramsci’s advice and gone on a long march through Western institutions. Poetry in Britain is now occupied territory, which is why ludicrously bad poets like Jackie Kay, Daljit Nagra and Benjamin Zephaniah enjoy such success and prominence there.

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49 Comments to "Vibrant Verse: British Poetry as Occupied Territory"

  1. JRM's Gravatar JRM
    April 16, 2017 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    The poetry sampled here wasn’t without some interest. For instance, the following lines:

    “It was said she had a warning
    That the officers were calling
    On that deadly July morning
    As her young son watched TV.”

    Sounds like a college boy’s parody of Edgar Allen Poe.

    The rest was tripe, but viewed as satire and parody, instead of earnest poetry, it may all make more sense.

    • Karen T's Gravatar Karen T
      April 17, 2017 - 4:18 am | Permalink

      JRM, thank you for the chuckle with morning coffee.

  2. m's Gravatar m
    April 16, 2017 - 10:06 am | Permalink

    Stowed in the sea to invade
    the lash alfresco of a diesel-breeze
    ratcheting speed into the tide with the brunt
    gobfuls of surf phlegmed by cushy,
    come-and-go tourists prow’d on the cruisers, lording the waves.
    Seagull and shoal life bletching

    Hmm…I wonder if Nagra’s dreaming of T.S. Eliot? Even with the modernist stuff, one can gauge the difference…

    The river sweats oil and tar
    The barges drift with the turn of the tide
    Red sails wide to leeward swing from the heavy spar,
    The barges wash, drifting logs
    Down Greenwich reach
    Past the Isle of Dogs

    • Dave Bowman's Gravatar Dave Bowman
      April 20, 2017 - 4:25 pm | Permalink

      No, he’s not dreaming of T.S. Eliot.

      He’s just stealing him wholesale and shameless, as the painfully talentless do – and always will.

  3. Gotcha's Gravatar Gotcha
    April 16, 2017 - 10:19 am | Permalink

    Most African and Afro-Caribbean men are instinctively polygamists. Monogamy is alien to them. They use local women as concubines. Added to this in Africa it is women who do the heavy lifting – raising kids, earning money and the like.

    Jackie Kay is just part of the effort to dilute Scotttishness. Another example is the writer Shazia Hobbs – Pakistani dad and a Scottish mother. Oddly such offspring never take on the surnames of their fathers. Another one is “Daley” Thompson a mixed race ex-athlete. You would think he is Irish but Daley is an Anglicised form of his African/Nigerian name while Thompson is that of his Scottish mum.

    • April 16, 2017 - 7:53 pm | Permalink

      According to H A Lane writing in The Alien Menace (1928), Jews invading Britain often chose Scottish names, often rather florid ones, after the style of Scotch whiskies with name picked by PR firms.
      Harry Lauder was a Jew. I wonder about George Galloway.

      • peter's Gravatar peter
        April 17, 2017 - 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Harry Lauder was not Jewish and Gerorge Galloway is of Irish Catholic stock but raised in Scotland.

  4. James J OMeara's Gravatar James J OMeara
    April 16, 2017 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    “The hostile elite delight in inverting the traditional order whereby White heterosexual able-bodied males were the leaders and arbiters of Western culture.”

    Not only straight but able-bodied. How much can one of the great poets bench-press? Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

    • T. J.'s Gravatar T. J.
      April 16, 2017 - 6:11 pm | Permalink

      666 ounces.

  5. Charles Frey's Gravatar Charles Frey
    April 16, 2017 - 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Is it still premature to assign caliber and muzzle-velocity to the weaponization of culture. While they still belabor the Reich’s disdain for ‘ entartete Kunst ‘ they certainly have developed a fetish for it.

    But why did you not use an actual photo of Jackie Kay , rather than the color-photo-shopped version of my favorite Emory University peasant Deborah Lipstadt. Just because they exude the same IQ and unwarranted sense of self-worth is no excuse.

  6. April 16, 2017 - 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I fear Tobias Langdon understates the anti-cultural contribution of Jews since (say) 1666. Wordsworth, Tennyson and Betjeman were no doubt selected for unreal countryside worship (as with (((British))) WW2 films, ignoring industrial output), the ‘creed of the liberal churchman’ plus Arthurian-style material, and mournful sentiment-laden post-Empire description-without-analysis. From that viewpoint, the modern ‘poets’ selected as targets are in a long tradition, as C of E viewpoints mutated seamlessly into the (((BBC))). And there’s subsidy: I was told (by a small publisher) that books of poems were his best sellers, though these were local dialects–I can’t imagine the BBC praising Yorkshire dialect poems on such subjects as whippets and flat caps. I’d guess these modern people are analogous to traditional exhibited pets or light entertainers; it’s hard to imagine them returning the (((BBC))) licence fees in a fit of pique. And may I suggest that to describe the (((BBC)) as a ‘subverted institution that works to destroy traditional Britain’ is a mistake; since its 1920s official monopoly award, it has always worked against Britain, and for Jews, in (for example) the mass butcheries from the USSR down to the Middle East now. Another point: Hilaire Belloc (from memory) said the Arnolds were another Jewish import; whatever Dover Beach is about, mourning for Christianity is unlikely to be part of it.

    • David Ashton's Gravatar David Ashton
      April 18, 2017 - 2:07 am | Permalink

      @ “Rerevisionist”

      Hilaire Belloc referred to Robert Browning. The mistaken notion that Matthew and Thomas Arnold had some Jewish forebears came from a speculative remark by George Russell; and is not supported by other biographers (e.g. Edward Alexander). Thomas held that the Jew was a stranger in England, and his son’s views on Culture and on Hellenism, when carefully studied, are not at all typically Jewish.

      Anthony Julius in his giant 890-page “Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England” (2012) includes Matthew Arnold, along with Belloc, Buchan, Bulwer-Lytton, Carlyle, Chaucer, Chesterton, Cobbett, Dickens, Du Maurier, Eliot, Shakespeare, Thackeray, Trollope and Wells, adding for good measure Kingsley Amis, Graham Greene, Louis MacNeice and Dorothy L. Sayers as Enemies of the (Chosen) People, though he could have got more from e.g. Kipling, Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence, Osbert Sitwell, Oscar Wilde and Douglas Reed.

      Other studies worth perusal are Bryan Cheyette, “Constructions of ‘the Jew’ in English Literature and Society” (2010) and Malcolm J. Turnbull, “Victims or Villains: Jewish Images in Classic English Detective Fiction” (2006).

      • April 22, 2017 - 8:45 pm | Permalink

        You seem to be implying that Anthony Julius is a ‘study worth pursuing’. I think ‘lol’ is the modern reply.
        On Arnold, someone like Miles Mathis, who has data-mined online genealogical material, would seem to be a reasonable guide, though I doubt he’s done much with Arnold.

        • David Ashton's Gravatar David Ashton
          April 24, 2017 - 9:07 am | Permalink

          @ Rerevisionist

          Julius is worth reading for his quotations not his interpretations.

          The last time I looked, Miles Mathis claimed that Kevin MacDonald himself was a Jewish stooge just as you (incorrectly, of course) thought I was.

  7. Robert Pinkerton's Gravatar Robert Pinkerton
    April 16, 2017 - 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Perdita est Britannia.

  8. Poupon Marx's Gravatar Poupon Marx
    April 16, 2017 - 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Well, as that font of wisdom, Moon Zappa said in the song “Valley Girl”: Ooooo, that is sooo groaty. Barf me out! Gag me with a spoon!”

    • T. J.'s Gravatar T. J.
      April 16, 2017 - 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Spoon up the gaga, er gags. Gag me with a gag. (S)Poon er Moon Zappa.

      • Peter J's Gravatar Peter J
        April 17, 2017 - 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Wow! That was unexpected! Makes you wonder if the West is worth trouble saving (or we could just wait for it to die on its own vomit!!)….

      • David Ashton's Gravatar David Ashton
        April 20, 2017 - 10:48 am | Permalink

        @ T.J.

        Sex, drugs, rock & rap.

        “The ‘happy ending’ of an empty existence, the boredom of which has brought in…Negro dancing perform the Dead March for a Great Culture” (Oswald Spengler, 1933).

  9. Lynda's Gravatar Lynda
    April 16, 2017 - 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Somalis and Nigerians can not really access the Bardic culture of Albion – its story and song.

    It is J.R.R. Tolkien who tapped this vein in modern times. White people of English ancestry have taken up Tolkien projects all over the world.

    One of the latest is this effort by architects to build the White City of Gondor – Minas Tirith

    Admittedly, the White City was poorly served by its musical theme in the Jackson films. Written by the Jew, Howard Shore, the theme doesn’t really capture it.
    LoTR Gondor Theme Song

    But this does.
    Valhalla Theme

    And I have no doubt that when the British architects build the White City – they’ll be listening to Wagner.

  10. Al Ross's Gravatar Al Ross
    April 16, 2017 - 6:34 pm | Permalink

    The reframed Scot description of is apt.
    When an actual Scot, viz., John Buchan ( ennobled as Lord Tweedsmuir ), and remembered, despite engaging fiction – production, with mixed feelings by JQ aficionados as one of the philosemitic Lord Milner’s “kindergarten”, was Governor General of Canada he toured the Hudson’s Bay Company’s far – flung, fur – trading posts.

    Buchan’s host was the Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, a fellow Scot.

    When Buchan asked his host why many of the HBC’s Scottish trading post managers had taken Eskimo wives while none of the English ones had done likewise, the company’s Governor replied : “Well, the Eskimos have to draw a line somewhere”.

  11. Trenchant's Gravatar Trenchant
    April 16, 2017 - 8:00 pm | Permalink

    In the spirit of Rerevisionist’s comment, I feel the rot is much deeper and longer-standing. Whilst Muslims figure prominently in common crime statistics I’m not buying the terrorist line. That seems more likely a government/MSM enterprise to secure Police-State laws (used selectively and arbitrarily against whites) at the same time channeling anti-Muslim sentiment into a neo-con foreign agenda.

    Dr. Joyce has written extensively about the English aristocracy’s melding with Jewish bloodlines. It is hard to believe that institutions and media aren’t totally conditioned by this union and would baulk at outright falsehoods in their pursuit of a sectarian agenda.

    • Karen T's Gravatar Karen T
      April 17, 2017 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Photographer Richard Gutjahr, husband of knesset member and former Israeli Intelligence operative Einat Wilf, was prepositioned for the Nice Bastille Day truck attack, and shortly thereafter was present for the Munich mall attack. It’s said that there are no coincidences, but in this case it’s doubtful the Divine was involved.

      • Charles Frey's Gravatar Charles Frey
        April 19, 2017 - 7:59 am | Permalink

        You may recall, that an Israeli Consulate was opened in Munich one month before the Mall McDonald’s shooting.

        The shooter himself, at that time and some time before, was under local psychiatric care.

        With our documented knowledge of extensive abuse of psychiatry everywhere and for all sorts of spurious justifications, we must ask : was he being treated or programmed ?

        Wilf may have ” retired ” from Israeli Intelligence, but they retain the right to re-engage you at ‘their’ discretion.

        • Charles Frey's Gravatar Charles Frey
          April 19, 2017 - 5:00 pm | Permalink

          Dad happened to be on the balcony of his hotel room in Nice, one floor up facing the thoroughfare, from which he FILMED the 18-wheeler before impact.

          Dad’s Duke U. freshman daughter happened to be on the balcony of her grandmother’s apartment, from where she FILMED the terrorized crowd running from the Mall in Munich.

          A mathematician calculated the odds. He stated that is tantamount to one and the same person being hit by lightning twice in his life. [ Assuming he survives his first surprise ]. Take this bullcrap to the Disney Creative Director for a movie and he’ll throw you out of the window, if its closer than the door.

          These people still entirely rely on their imbued gullibility of the goyim, though its waning. Regrettably not fast enough.

  12. Gilbert Huntly's Gravatar Gilbert Huntly
    April 16, 2017 - 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Academia is to blame for the come-uppance of disjointed prose which is now passed-off as “poetry”. They babble because they need to be heard as having something to say. A real poet would not deign to mingle his verse with the publications of that trash. Hence, poetry has died to the modern public.

  13. Al Ross's Gravatar Al Ross
    April 16, 2017 - 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Poetry comes from a sense of homeland, whether acquired by right of conquest ( as opposed to immigration) or via the blood and soil reality.

    Robert Burns’ work was seized upon by Communist Russian intellectuals because of the “A Man’s A Man For A’ That” theme.

    Some Aryan Russian Communists may have taken Burns’ egalitarian sentiments at face value but I suspect that the Jews of that regime knew that the poet was a practicing Freemason and that the qualifying factor for “equality” was not quite what it may have seemed.

  14. April 16, 2017 - 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I’d have to disagree with the idea that England has not produced any great painters. Just look at Edward Burne-Jones or Lord Leighton.

    • Peter J's Gravatar Peter J
      April 17, 2017 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Yes I thought that was slightly hyperbolic. England was famous as a “land without music” (rather harsh) and did rather tend to import its painters but if you go to Tate Britain you certainly see a great wealth of talent (even if we have no Rembrandt or Cezanne). Britain also has Britten, Vaughan Williams, Purcell, and Elgar, and (actually) Pink Floyd etc. so there is creativity and talent here (or was anyway!!)…

  15. ex South African's Gravatar ex South African
    April 17, 2017 - 12:52 am | Permalink

    Composers and artists of the genius class are by any means spread thinly across history, so I do not know if this is a fair measure of comparison.

    I like my John Dowland, and Julian Bream for his musical interpretations on the classical guitar.

    For poetry, the German poet Goethe had a high regard for Shakespeare.

  16. Lancashire lad's Gravatar Lancashire lad
    April 17, 2017 - 2:48 am | Permalink

    Liz Lochhead’s comic verse plays in Scots work well on stage and are pretty observant. Her politics are a sort of swithering Scottish nationalism.

  17. George F. Held's Gravatar George F. Held
    April 17, 2017 - 4:42 am | Permalink

    I like Milton a lot, especially Lycidas, but he does not “compare with Dante”!

    • 3g4me's Gravatar 3g4me
      April 17, 2017 - 1:37 pm | Permalink

      While I’ve only read Dante in translation, I would argue Milton compares quite favorably. For all that he may have been a bitter old man and overbearing father, Milton was a brilliant writer and poet. Paradise Lost’s brilliance grows with each re-reading; Comus, a Masque is an intriguing counterpoint.

      As an aside, Jackie Kay’s appalling verse strongly reminds me of a free-verse poem [very much the fashion at the time] which I had to write for a high school class. I dashed it off in about five minutes and won an award. It was awful, but far better than Ms. Kay’s self-referential doggerel.

  18. Curmudgeon's Gravatar Curmudgeon
    April 17, 2017 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    I’d put Jackie Kay’s poetry right up there with Ewen McTeagle’s:

    Lend us a quid till the end of the week.
    If you could see your way
    To lending me sixpence
    I could at least buy a newspaper.
    That’s not much to ask anyone.

    Upon Reading Chapman’s Homer in Selfridges

    Owe gie to me a shillin for some fags
    And I’ll pay yer back on Thursday.
    But if you can wait till Saturday
    I’m expecting a divvy from the
    Harpenden Building Society.

    (courtesy of Monty Python)

    • Gemjunior's Gravatar Gemjunior
      April 17, 2017 - 11:18 pm | Permalink

      I was in stitches when I read your post – that group of geniuses was so unique and that particular episode was brilliant. “Can you lend us 50 Quid, To Mend the Shed? I’ll pay you back, when the postal order comes. From Australia.” Howls.
      You have a great memory by the way! Do you by any chance remember the milkman/psychiatrist Jersey Cream Psychiatry skit? LOL, brilliant and unique. So painful when you compare such brilliance with what passes for “comedy” in today’s west — Alec Baldwin’s pathetic Trump impersonation – enough to make a person puke.
      Thanks for the memories!

      • Curmudgeon's Gravatar Curmudgeon
        April 18, 2017 - 11:14 am | Permalink

        I have seen them all, several times. Few, if any, were dull. It was only after I found out that they were mocking political correctness and politics in general, that things started to make sense: e.g. the “News for Parrots” was as a result of Indians and Pakistanis complaining of their negative portrayal in the media.
        Brilliant they were, and probably all “crazy” to some extent. As someone pointed out, John Cleese, like Jonathon Winters wasn’t funny after gong into therapy.

      • T. J.'s Gravatar T. J.
        April 18, 2017 - 11:29 am | Permalink

        The skit is here:

  19. PPight1931's Gravatar PPight1931
    April 17, 2017 - 3:10 pm | Permalink

    “They hate us ‘cos they ain’t us”.

    We already knew that.

    I resist the urge to cut and paste on our Favourite Subject from Bryron’s The Age of Bronze or from Douglas’s In Excelsis.

    Fact is, if we are being outpaced in the survival hurdles, that’s despite our bardic – or other – superiority, actual or supposed. It’s because we are currently lacking the survival factor.

    John Tyndall wrote this in the 1990s:

    “Ultimately, the question of which races are superior and which inferior will be decided according to the laws of nature – by which survive and which do not, rather than by any comparisons of aptitude in specific skills, whether academic, athletic or otherwise. And so arguments as to superiority and inferiority become a rather pointless exercise.”

    Except, that is, as to the survival factor.

    Rehearsing the problem over and over without compassing solutions is pretty much the same as a mantra of: ‘it’s over’.

    So what is the survival factor?

    • April 17, 2017 - 9:53 pm | Permalink

      So what is the survival factor?
      The survival instinct is a basic part of life. It works in a natural environment very well. But we Germans live in an artificial environment. There are formal laws which regulate things. There are social benefits for everyone. Therefore the economical need for a family to stay together and help each other is going down. People with no children have economical advantages over lifetime, remind the double-income-no-kids-type.
      People feel that we are ill, but they see that they up to today have a (relatively) good income and they fear a change. Some of them are just dumb.
      We have lost the war. In the 1960s we had to import many Turkish men as “guestworkers” by order of the USA. The German government did not want, there where enough workers in Europe (Italy or so) which could have worked in Germany, but in the end the German government obeyed.
      Later the Turks` families came, now we have millions of them. Also Arabs and negroes, millions.
      The situation is very difficult but we Germans do not have lost hope. The will to survive is very strong. The will to identify as a group, to be together and to exclude non-Germans, non-Europeans is very strong. You can see this at private occasions. Even among the most “multiculti-friendly” persons, within their private sphere, very seldom a non-German is on board. Race mixing is a fact in Germany, but only to a small amount, if you compare it to the large number of foreigners in our country.
      Also please keep in mind the time factor. In the beginning the number of foreigners was small and steadily growing. It was difficult to say soemthing against their number because of the state did not want that. It was silently growing. But now each and every German town and village is concerned by the sheer number of non- Europeans. Now the problem cannot be covered or speaken-away any more. Now the time of our awakening is coming. The German folk is on a good way.
      Nonetheless, Germany cannot free itself alone. All white folks must wake up and work together and help each other. We want to live! Our children shall live! Jesus says: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

      • pterodactyl's Gravatar pterodactyl
        April 19, 2017 - 4:27 pm | Permalink

        karlfried: “but we Germans do not have lost hope. The will to survive is very strong.”
        The will to survive is dormant for now. But the important point is that if they ever get it back (and this applies to all Western countries – even Sweden) then the nonsense can be reversed swiftly and competently. This ability to act in an effective manner to get things done does not apply to the third world as they cannot get things done. But in order for the West to change its outlook and stop supporting its own suicide, something drastic will have to happen. Eg economic collapse. Then the people will stop voting for the far-left as they do now, and things can change.

        The Western countries displayed tremendous levels of achievement and resolve in the last two World Wars – but unfortunately all their skills and talents were spend on bombing each other’s cities and killing each other’s soldiers.

    • April 18, 2017 - 6:17 am | Permalink

      It’s necessary to understand survival between groups distributed between other groups. Tyndall was probably thinking in simple mode: one race A is over here, another race B is in its territory over there. Fine, before roads and ships and travel and languages. Tyndall hadn’t realised human varieties can spread out and infiltrate and interact. And no doubt his lack of understanding was facilitated by the (((usual suspects))).

      • David Ashton's Gravatar David Ashton
        April 20, 2017 - 1:19 pm | Permalink

        @ Rerevisionist

        I am not a defender of the late John Tyndall, but no-one who has actually studied his political history, or his writings like “The Authoritarian State”, or his continual campaigning against the migration of people he called “sub-human” into British society, would have “no doubt” that he was “facilitated” as suggested by his own arch-enemies. Too little learning is a dangerous thing and can be an annoying handicap to a website that expects to be taken seriously.

        • April 22, 2017 - 8:35 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps you’d like to point out to me passages in Tyndall (of which there are quite a few on Internet) showing his grasp of the cuckoo-like qualities of Jews? I may have missed something here, but although Tyndall was clearly a pioneer and his Eleventh Hour not at all bad, he failed to see the point of the Second World War and the Cold War. Just as (for example) Nick Griffin did.
 Tyndall: Eleventh Hour: Call for British Rebirth (2010 review)

        • David Ashton's Gravatar David Ashton
          April 24, 2017 - 8:59 am | Permalink

          @ Rerevisionist

          My research library is overflowing with three large rooms of books, articles & cuttings; and I decided to discard my back copies of “Combat” & “Spearhead” (except for a few articles); and I rely on memory from the time that Tyndall joined with Jordan and later Rockwell as “National Socialists” and dressed in Brownshirt uniforms; “political pygmies in the clothes of dead giants” (Mosley). But I recall that “The Authoritarian State” was largely a crude amalgam of the “Protocols of Zion” and Mosley’s “Tomorrow We Live”. The original BNP & WUNS certainly claimed that WW2 was a “Jewish War of Survival”.

          Some documented references appear on-line, Rational-Wiki, under “John Tyndall”.

          The important thing is not just to collect items that support your initial hypotheses but to take on those that widen or indeed challenge them.

      • Curmudgeon's Gravatar Curmudgeon
        April 25, 2017 - 6:17 am | Permalink

        Tyndal’s “Spearhead” magazine had a number of articles about the (((usual suspects))) but he rarely outright named them.

  20. Sandy's Gravatar Sandy
    April 17, 2017 - 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Scotland is certainly blossoming under the Scottish Nationalist Party.

  21. Peter J's Gravatar Peter J
    April 17, 2017 - 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Very erudite article…extremely interesting. Sometimes, though, I simply despair about Albion…

    • David Ashton's Gravatar David Ashton
      April 19, 2017 - 3:36 pm | Permalink

      @ Peter J, yo no’ de only wun!!!

      Inglan is a bitch
      dere’s no escapin it
      Inglan is a bitch
      y’u haffi know how fi suvvive in it

      well mi dhu day wok an’ mid dhu nite wok
      mi dhu clean wok an’ mid dhu dutty wok
      dem seh dat black man is very lazy
      but it y’u si how mi wok y’u woulda sey mi crazy

      Inglan is a bitch
      dere’s no escapin it
      Inglan is a bitch fi true
      is whey wi a goh dhu ’bout it?

      – Linton Kwesi Johnson
      Honorary Visiting Professor, Middlesex University (2005)
      English Golden PEN Award for a Lifetime’s Distinguished Service to Literature (2012)
      “Works” published by e.g. Penguin Modern Classics

  22. James Varty's Gravatar James Varty
    April 18, 2017 - 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Interesting article on the sad state of contemporary ‘British’ poetry.

    However, it is wrong to underplay the musical achievements of the British Isles – at many points in history it has been the cradle of Western musical creativity, and a draw to some of the most legendary composers and performers across Christendom. As for the notion that we haven’t produced any home-grown talent, I can only suggest to Tobias that he do a little research on the subject next time.

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