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Defoe-daniel Daniel Defoe (1659 – 1731) is best known for writing Robinson Crusoe. He was also a satirist and he was put in stocks and had vegetables thrown at him for ridiculing the Tories, a conservative, pro-monarchy party of the time. The wooden stocks were called a pillory and, even to this day, ‘pillorying’ is a term used to describe mocking or abusing someone. Defoe earnt his place in the real pillory for writing a poem: The True-Born Englishman. Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic, (See entry below) included extracts of Defoe’s poem in a recent article. Even today, the words ring true.
   

A true-born Englishman’s a contradiction

 In speech an irony, in fact a fiction

The Scot, Pict, Briton, Roman, Dane, submit,

And with the English-Saxon all unite …britian image

Fate jumbled them together, God knows how;

Whate’er they were, they’re true-born English now …

Since scarce one family is left alive,

Which does not from some foreigner derive.

by Daniel Defoe

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Andrew Sullivan 1

Poempig is always delighted to find an embedded poem in a newspaper article. They are, indeed, rare but worth the search. 

  Andrew Sullivan writes on business, politics and food for The Altlantic.  His article titled ‘Americans don’t know how black they are'( The Australian 27 Oct 2009) and also ‘Scratch white America and beneath it is black’ ( The Sunday Times, UK, on 25th Oct 2009) was not only a clear headed critique of race relations, it was a secular sermon laced with poetic phrases that brought beauty and charm and dignity to the issue of race.  His words didn’t just inform, they sang from the heart. 

These varied roots, these mongrel evolutions,

this hybrid inheritance

make us who we are.crowd zzzed

And it is this mixture

that is authentically American,

just as the wave after wave of immigration,

ancient and modern,

has made Britain Britain.

It is a pied kind of beauty, this diversity.

And those who wish to simplify it,

to reduce it to some biological or racial element

that renders us something other than we actually are,

are not in any way conservatives. 

They are fantasists and bigots,

deaf to the music true nations make,

and the many variations that still make their melodies soar.


Andrew Sullivan


same-sex  

Books by Andrew Sullivan include HE CONSERVATIVE SOUL: HOW WE LOST IT, HOW TO GET IT BACK and SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: PRO AND CON. Books are available at Amazon.
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