The best bit of the concert we went to yesterday was that it took place in the beautiful Konzerthaus in Berlin (see photo). Not the greatest concert ever, I’m afraid. As we talked over the experience on our way to supper with friends, we came to the conclusion that the organist was at least half-cut and probably sight-reading.
Dinner was fun, but brought home to me just how middle-aged I really am. Although I was violently left-wing in my youth, even volunteering at CND for a while (in the parliamentary department where I learned all about lobbying—or should I say the ‘information-for-sex’ trade), as we ate I expressed affection for Prince Philip and Enoch Powell. It was immediately pointed out to me (very sweetly) that both of them are considered to be rabid ‘racists’ these days (by the press, at least). And it occurred to me that if I were true to left-wing politics, their names should probably never have even passed my lips. So another self-affixed label has now hit the dust!
The truth is that I have a tremendous fondness for all individuals who refuse to toe the line, party-political, spiritual, or whatever. And neither the Prince nor the great parliamentarian (who was also an accomplished classicist) ever do, or did.
Sadly I’m too lazy to write about it properly today. But Enoch Powell also wrote poetry, once saying that when a poem came to him he had no choice but to write it down, however inconvenient the inspiration proved to be. So as a way of celebrating his sense of personal honour, regardless of the consequences, I have typed in one of his pieces for you to read. He may not have been a great poet, or even a good one, but I love the fact that he couldn’t resist the urge to paint a picture of his inner world in words.
(I should add that even in my dotage, I perceive not one redeeming feature in Margaret Thatcher, who was nothing more than a rapacious bully and devoid of any human feeling, let alone poetry. It was her pogrom of deregulation that laid the foundations of today’s financial crisis, so please don’t be taken in by the glamor Meryl Streep currently lends her.)
Strange, that neither wound nor sight
Nor least perception of our plight
Passes to the world without,
Though earth and we are whirled about
Into darkness crashing down,
Unrescuable there to drown.
All the air between is crying
And the walls vibrate with sighing
And our cheeks are drenched in tears –
But no one sees and no one hears.