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.
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.