Programming note: Today's audio edition of Steyn's Song of the Week airs on Serenade Radio at 5.30pm British Summer Time, which is 12.30pm North American Eastern or 9.30am for a West Coast Sunday brunch listen. Wherever you are on the planet, simply click the button at top right here.
Welcome to a brand new entry to our Mark Steyn Club anthology of video poetry: With tomorrow's Royal funeral in mind, I have a brace of poems written for the Queen's father and grandfather by her first poet laureate, John Masefield.
As I recount in my introduction, there have been distinguished poet laureates - Wordsworth and Tennyson - but it is a tricky job to pull off:
It is not an easy thing to write a poem for the unveiling of a statue or the announcement of a royal baby. But John Masefield acquitted himself respectably, and also did something that I'm not sure any other Poet Laureate has ever done. He saw his job as being not only to provide public poetry for state occasions, but also private poetry for the Kings and Queens he served.
It is from that private poetry that today's poems are drawn. To watch my reading, prefaced by my introduction, please click here and log-in.
Thank you for all your kind comments about this feature. Marc, a First Day Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club, writes of our last poem:
Powerful and haunting! There is nobody quite like the multifaceted Mr Steyn. May the Steyn Club last and last!
I have mixed feelings about having outlasted the Queen, Marc, but we shall do our best.
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 John Masefield off-camera, please click here.
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).