Thursday, 23 June 2011
I’ve got some demanding, but extremely welcome, new personal commitments at the moment which, combined with preparation for the second semester next month, mean I won’t be posting on here for a while.
It came as a surprise, preparing this, to realise I’ve been writing this blog for over a year now. The Tokyo autumn of those first posts seems a lifetime away, but the habit of writing – and thinking aloud – in public is one I’m only just getting comfortable with exploring properly. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions, both here and via email and elsewhere. Google Analytics tells me that most of you who read here regularly are family members, friends, and comrades; I’ve made some new friends along the way, too, and I value all of your input.
The pleasure, for me, is, in particular, to do with the blurring of roles blogging encourages. I’m writing as a conscious socialist and an activist, but also as someone within – and committed to – the humanities, hoping that the internet might give us ways to connect research in the humanities with interested readers and thinkers outside the university, and to share ideas and reading more widely. And, of course, as most of you will realise too, I’m a student still most of the time: these pieces are really records of other’s research, other’s thinking, other histories, and what I can learn from them. I hope you've been able to learn something to along the way. I know I have from you.
I hope to start posting again towards the end of next month.
A Poet's Welcome to his Love-Begotten Daughter: the First Instance that Entitled Him to the Venerable Appellation of Father
Thou's welcome, wean! Mishanter fa' me
If thoughts o' thee, or yet thy Mamie,
Shall ever daunton me or awe me,
My bonnie lady,
Or if I blush when thou shalt ca'me
Tyta, or Daddie!
Tho' now they ca' me fornicator,
And tease my name in kintra clatter,
The mair they talk, I'm kend the better;
E'en let them clash!
An auld wife's tongue's a feckless matter
To gie ane fash!
Welcome, my bonnie, sweet, wee dochter!
Tho' ye came here a wee unsought for.
And tho' your comin I hae fought for
Baith Kirk and Queir,
Yet by my faith, ye're no unwrought for,
That I shall swear.
Wee image o' my bonnie Betty,
As fatherly I kiss and daut thee,
As dear and near my heart I set thee,
Wi' as guide will
As a' the priests had seen me get thee
That's out o'Hell!
Sweet fruit o' mony a merry dint,
My funny toil is no a' tint;
Tho' ye come to the world askent,
Which fools may scoff at,
In my last plack your part's be in't,
The better half o't.
Tho I should be the waur bestead,
Thou's be as braw and bienly clad,
And thy young years as nicely bred
As ony brat o' wedlock's bed,
In a' thy station.
Lord grant that thou may aye inherit
Thy mither's person, grace and merit,
An' thy poor worthless daddy's spirit
Without his failins,
'Twill please me mair to see thee inherit
Than stockit mailens.
For if thou be, what I would hae thee,
And tak the counsel I shall gie thee,
I'll never rue my trouble wi' thee,
The cost nor shame on't,
But be a loving Father to thee,
And brag the name o't!