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Showing posts from March, 2007

From my column in StAR magazine

The Ball and the Cross:
Easter anachronisms

Why is this regular feature called The Ball and Cross? It is a question that I am asked from time to time by various people, and now seems as good a time as any to tell you.

Several of the original StAR columns back in 2001 adopted recycled titles borrowed from Chesterton and Belloc for, partly ‘for luck’, partly (at least in my case) to attempt to misappropriate thereby the latitude accorded to the Chesterbelloc in matters of style; in other words to extend the scope of their poetic licence.

Chesterton’s The Ball and the Cross is a novel about how terrible the modern world is, or perhaps how terrible it looked set to become, almost an hundred years ago when Chesterton wrote it.

So I resurrected the evocative name of a zany, futuristic novel for a column that would tackle the modern world in what some might call a self-consciously anachronistic way.

Chesterton’s novel begins in an UFO, captained by a crazy scientist called Professor Lucifer. Like …

Treading on egoshells

Men's egos like eggshells
crunch easy underfoot.
And we for holy charity
Pick up the sharp shards
to eek new eggs,
though thereby
they and we
are changed.

Changed, not ended,
Never quite mended;
The bigness of our boots
A bumbling humbling
Every time we take
a step forward
and two steps back.

And even in reverse gear
More egos are broken
In the making of the great omelette.

So I'll tread more softly
next time ...