Friday, May 29, 2009

Oh! Oh!

(George's wife Eileen and their son Robert)

       (George and son Robert)

George Orwell on teaching (which he did for a while to support his writing)

"No job is more fascinating than teaching if you have a free hand at it - though if you are forced to bore your pupils and oppress them, they will hate you for it."  

And here's the best part ...

"The best moment in teaching are ... the times when the children's enthusiasm leaps up, like an answering flame, to meet your own."

They say he was a well liked teacher, even though he was a bit of a disciplinarian. 

His wife, Eileen O'Shaughnessy, with an English degree from Oxford, also taught. (Not that an English degree is better than any other. Although I am quite fond of mine.)

... And like every self-respecting writer, he wrote poetry too ...

A Little Poem

A happy vicar I might have been
Two hundred years ago
To preach upon eternal doom
And watch my walnuts grow;

But born, alas, in an evil time,
I missed that pleasant haven,
For the hair has grown on my upper lip
And the clergy are all clean-shaven.

And later still the times were good,
We were so easy to please,
We rocked our troubled thoughts to sleep
On the bosoms of the trees.

All ignorant we dared to own
The joys we now dissemble;
The greenfinch on the apple bough
Could make my enemies tremble.

But girl's bellies and apricots,
Roach in a shaded stream,
Horses, ducks in flight at dawn,
All these are a dream.

It is forbidden to dream again;
We maim our joys or hide them:
Horses are made of chromium steel
And little fat men shall ride them.

I am the worm who never turned,
The eunuch without a harem;
Between the priest and the commissar
I walk like Eugene Aram;

And the commissar is telling my fortune
While the radio plays,
But the priest has promised an Austin Seven,
For Duggie always pays.

I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls,
And woke to find it true;
I wasn't born for an age like this;
Was Smith? Was Jones? Were you?

Doggerel seems to lighten the political tone in his poems.

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