Welcome to a brand new entry to our Mark Steyn Club anthology of video poetry: In today's Sunday Poem, I make a few observations on Christopher Smart and then read a rather droll piece called Where's the Poker? If you don't know it, you're in for a treat.
If you've never heard of Mr Smart, well, he's much anthologized for a consideration of his cat Jeoffry in the form of a psalm:
For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifthly he washes himself.
For sixthly he rolls upon wash...
I almost picked that one, but felt it would be testing the patience of the non-felinophile audience to extend my repertoire from cat songs to cat poems. So, to watch my reading of Where's the Poker?, prefaced by my introduction, please click here and log-in.
Thank you for all your kind comments about this feature. Steyn Clubber Gareth Wigmore writes:
My favourite part of the Club - without the introduction and context these poems would forever be unknown to me and they are always very good.
Very kind of you, Gareth. Like many Club members, Todd Lewis from Virginia especially appreciated last month's selection:
I would say say combining timely commentary with the presentation of a poem is the best way to do it.
Yes, it is true the church was handed a golden opportunity in many ways with Covid and, for the most part, blew it. Another horrid example of confusing virtue signaling with truth and righteousness. The poem poignantly reminds us that the gateway to life is death. This is the hard irony God has set before us, a fact of life hard to contemplate.
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 Where's the Poker? 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 this coming 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).