Monday, September 17, 2012

An English unofficial rose

I had never realized what a disorganized, loose mess Grantchester is. I suppose I never read it carefully enough. Yet there is a certain, undeniable Englishness there, only not in a very good sense. And flashes of promise, naturally. There was much poetry in Brooke, whatever they may say. But an awful loose mess of sentiment and fake irony of a poem.

I sometimes wonder whether I am an especially sentimental, syrupy Anglophile, but I think I'm saved from sentimentality knowing that my England never quite existed, outside of words and thoughts, and some actions and sentiments. Yattenden hymnal, of pale green - the Liberal England which never really was dominant, which never quite was, but which is the heart of the central idea of England, that gentle land of liberty that never really has been that gentle, in truth, or that free (except for a small minority). At least until there is New Jerusalem built on it or at least a serious attempt to build it. The attempt, this always failing hope is the England I love.

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