Archive for April, 2013

Drummer Hodge

Following the death of the actor Richard Griffiths I watched the  ‘The History Boys’, DVD bought but not yet viewed and was startled by the scene where they read the Thomas Hardy poem Drummer Hodge. I don’t really get poetry much but I liked this one….

They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
  Uncoffined – just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
  That breaks the veldt around;
And foreign constellations west
  Each night above his mound.

Young Hodge the Drummer never knew –
  Fresh from his Wessex home –
The meaning of the broad Karoo,
  The Bush, the dusty loam,
And why uprose to nightly view
  Strange stars amid the gloam.

Yet portion of that unknown plain
  Will Hodge forever be;
His homely Northern breast and brain
  Grow to some Southern tree,
And strange-eyed constellations reign
  His stars eternally.

He is writing about the Zulu Wars, these were the first campaigns where common soldiers were commemorated on war memorials; we were there!  Before this, bones from battlefields were swept up by a Yorkshire firm, ground up and sold as fertiliser. Nice? However Hodge is a generic name and not actually a real drummer.

I am aware of another funeral this week. For readers of the Guardian weekend magazine’s Lucy Mangan column – I agree. I did however watch some of the funeral, I love a good parade, great Performance Art, especially star granddaughter Amanda. The stand out image for me without doubt was the picture of D. Cameron with Barbi SamCam & her ever present fixed smile and behind, the Osborne twins – same pasty face, same small down-turned mouths, that never moved – I didn’t see the tear.

This is for Mim: I have an ankle # story. Slipped on wet grass in Ireland. Triple #, surgery, two weeks in Irish hospital – nuns! Finally flown home with cast and wheelchair. 3 surgical ops, scars on both sides of left ankle. Plus trophy metal wear, screws and rivets for viewing by appointment!

For Andrew Graham-Dixon ‘friends’ & fans, a full two hours tonight – happy viewing.


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