But, for this bright piping Easter morn (on the East Coast of the Americas), here is a brand new entry to our Mark Steyn Club anthology of video poetry: In today's Sunday Poem, I look at the background of T S Eliot and then read part of the second of his Four Quartets. When he wrote it, it was an oblique meditation at Easter in the context of war - and, as I read it now, it suits the context of Covid:
The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.
To watch my reading of East Coker, prefaced by my introduction, please click here and log-in.
This is our first gentleman poet in awhile. We have spent the year to date with the distaff side, but I thank you for your kind comments thereon. Lee Phelps, one of our Florida Steyn Clubbers, writes:
Thank you Mark for presenting that poem and background. It was surprisingly enjoyable. As you say better than any presidential poetry.
That's an extremely low bar, Lee. Steven Sicotte, a fellow Steyn Clubber from not too far away in Louisiana, adds:
Thank you for these last two poems Mark (and all the ones before). What amazing, talented women.
Mary's observations are as funny as shrewd. I feel sad for her, but at least her mistress allowed her access to the library and her friend valued her poetry enough to have it published, so we get to see her work all these years later.
Again, thanks for sharing these poems with us.
My pleasure, Steven. I'm glad this feature is proving so popular.
If you'd like to catch up on earlier poems in the series, you can find them on our Sunday Poems home page. As with Tales for Our Time and our music specials and The Mark Steyn Show, we're archiving my video poetry in an easy-to-access Netflix-style tile format that we hope makes it the work of moments to prowl around and alight on something that piques your interest of a weekend, whether Kipling, Keats or The Kangaroo.
One other bonus of Steyn Club membership is that you can enjoy much of our content in whichever is your preferred form - video, audio, text. So, if you'd rather hear me read East Coker off-camera, please click here.
Steyn's Sunday Poem is a special production for The Mark Steyn Club. We launched the Steyn Club almost five years ago, and I'm immensely heartened by all the longtime SteynOnline regulars - from Fargo to Fiji, Madrid to Malaysia, West Virginia to Witless Bay - who've signed up to be a part of it. Membership in The Mark Steyn Club also comes with non-poetic benefits, including:
~Our latest audio adventure in Tales for Our Time, and almost sixty thrilling predecessors;
~Other audio series on pertinent topics, such as our 2019 serialization of Climate Change: The Facts and our 2021 adaptation of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade;
~Exclusive Steyn Store member pricing on over 40 books, mugs, T-shirts, and other products;
~The opportunity to engage in live Clubland Q&A sessions with yours truly (such as Good Friday's);
~Transcript and audio versions of Mark's Mailbox, The Mark Steyn Show, and other video content, including today's poem;
~Advance booking for my live appearances around the world, including exclusive members-only events such as The Mark Steyn Christmas Show, assuming such events are ever again lawfully permitted;
~Customized email alerts for new content in your areas of interest;
~and the chance to support our print, audio and video ventures as they wing their way around the planet.
One other benefit to Club Membership is our Comment Club privileges. So, if the above poem does not tickle your fancy, then give it your best below. Please do stay on topic on all our comment threads, because that's the way to keep them focused and readable. With that caution, have at it (in verse, if you wish).