Welcome to today's Sunday Poem. If you enjoy our ongoing video poetry anthology, please note that I'll be doing Steyn's Sunday Poem live during the 2023 Mark Steyn Cruise - along with many other favorite features from SteynOnline and The Mark Steyn Show. More details here.
Today's entry is a special birthday entry, in honor of SteynOnline turning twenty this coming week. We really had to have a birthday poem, and, as I recount in my introduction, no one wrote more than Jonathan Swift - for the lady he immortalised as "Stella', and who rests next to him in St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.
The Dean's birthday poetry takes a parodic glee in decay. On this twentieth birthday at SteynOnline, decay is all too real - on free speech, freedom of movement, freedom from state power at every level. Nonetheless, we cannot simply wallow in decay, so I have enclosed a birthday poem that offers a very slight smidgeonette of hope that our best days may yet lie ahead.
To watch my reading of "Stella's Birth-Day", prefaced by my introduction, please click here and log-in.
Thank you for all your kind comments about this feature. Rosette, a Belgian member of The Mark Steyn Club, writes of our last poem:
Thank you Mark! Well done!!! I appreciate very much!
Great Lord Byron was prone to endless romantic soul-searchings. This gloomy poem reflects his understandable despair and frame of mind two centuries ago. Yours is a very appropriate choice to remind that we have to stand endlessly against the globalist green madness narrative.
Your comments are a precious lesson of history and geography and other academic disciplines sadly not taught anymore since at least thirty years... The brown setting in your library and the exquisite tie you chose to wear give an additional visual pleasure to this precious video, my favorite!!
Thank you, Rosette. I'll try to remember which tie that was and put it in high rotation.
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 Dean Swift off-camera, please click here.
If the above poem does not tickle your fancy, then give it your best in our comments section. 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).