New Life & Easter Holidays

One of my best friends from school is now a father. His son, Freddie, was born on 1st April at 18.50, weighing 7lb 14oz. So the first thing I have to say is a big congratulations to Alec and Emma Bell, and welcome to their new son! I’m sure all of you guys will be wishing them well too.

The Happy Family - congratulations!

What this news does do, apart from make me pause to wipe a manly tear of joy from my eye, is think of one of my favourite poems – Louis MacNeice’s Prayer Before Birth. In honour of the occasion, I’ll share it with you.

I am not yet born; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the
      club-footed ghoul come near me.

I am not yet born, console me.
I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
      with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
         on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.

I am not yet born; provide me
With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk
      to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light
         in the back of my mind to guide me.

I am not yet born; forgive me
For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words
      when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me,
        my treason engendered by traitors beyond me,
            my life when they murder by means of my
               hands, my death when they live me.

I am not yet born; rehearse me
In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when
      old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains
         frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white
            waves call me to folly and the desert calls
               me to doom and the beggar refuses
                  my gift and my children curse me.

I am not yet born; O hear me,
Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God
      come near me.

I am not yet born; O fill me
With strength against those who would freeze my
      humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton,
         would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with
            one face, a thing, and against all those
               who would dissipate my entirety, would
                  blow me like thistledown hither and
                     thither or hither and thither
                        like water held in the
                           hands would spill me.

Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me.
Otherwise kill me.

In other news, it’s the Easter holidays and I will be finishing work on Wednesday and heading off for an awesome holiday with my wonderful girlfriend in a secret location. I can’t tell you where it is, but it rhymes with seven. The Easter holidays will give me some time to rest and unwind after quite a hectic semester with plays and so on, and will offer me some time away from the dreaded library to do some writing. I’m still working on scene three of “new play” (imaginative working title, I know), but in the meantime here is part 3 of Coffee & TV, which I’m sure you’ve been waiting for with bated breath. Right? Right.

Comments
2 Responses to “New Life & Easter Holidays”
  1. Congratulations to your friends. There is nothing like welcoming a child into the world. I have three wonderful kids at home and a 4th on the way this year,

    That poem is great, I really like it.

    • Nick says:

      Thanks for dropping by Alex and congratulations again on your fourth! I do like Louis MacNeice, there are some really great gems in amongst his collections.

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