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Old 03-02-2013, 08:05 AM   #1
Sundae
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My Country

This thread is open to anyone who loves their country, or bits of it.

Personally, I love England and the UK and the British Isles (gets larger with each name.)

On my List Of Nice Things, pretty much everything is Anglocentric.
I'm not a xenophobe. I love travelling. I've been to many different places - more than many friends and colleagues actually. But I love home.

I love our history.
Standing stones, Roman ruins, baths and walls and thatch and wattle.

I love our literature. We were lucky that America spread our mother tongue across the globe. But as perverse as our language is, the beauty shines through in places like India, Japan, Malaysia and Korea. I'm fond of Shakespeare, but fonder yet of our poets. U A Fanthorpe, Larkin, Dylan Thomas, R A Thomas and all them and everything.

Not to forget our authors, Tolkein, Orwell, Christie, Sayers, Ian Banks, Kate Atkinson.

And not to forget our landscape. My goodness. What an extraordinary gem.
The secret of these hills was stone, and cottages
Of that stone made,
And crumbling roads
That turned on sudden hidden villages

It's actually a sad poem about the encroachment of pylons on the landscape.
But I've always found the opening lines beautiful.
I looked them up to check I had them right, but they're pretty much embedded in my head.

Our pageants, our ceremonies, our Royalty (despite not being a Monarchist.)
Cream teas, smoked kippers, curries, stiff courtesy, free healthcare, tepid acceptance, gobby cabbies, pearly kings and queens, breaking into song in the pub (without karoake) love and life and laughter and England always losing.

I LOVE IT.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:15 AM   #2
DanaC
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I liked that.

I totally agree.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:28 AM   #3
DanaC
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I've always felt deep sense of connection to England. And to Britain. Dad's family, long before they went off to India in the late 18th century hailed from somewhere down towards the south coast, can't recall where. On mum's side the Gorton name is an old Anglo-Saxon name. More than likely originally of the place Gorton, in Manchester, a stone's throw from where Mum grew up and I was born.

I love the history, particularly the early history of the nations of Britain. I love the way names of places and people survive in fragmented forms across thousands of years. The Wicca, about whom we know so very little, and the kingdom of Elmete the last bastion of native British rule in England as the Anglo-Saxon age gathered pace. It would have been quite nearby my village...we may even be within its borders, I'm not sure.

I also love its more recent history of class consciousness and pride. With roots in a very old common culture of protest and 'political' activism.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:07 AM   #4
Trilby
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I';ve always wanted to go. Never the tropics for me- always cold and rainy England! I feel a connection to it, too.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:03 PM   #5
glatt
 
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I've been to a fair number of countries, and I have loved most of them. England is one of the ones I love.

East Germany, not so much.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:59 PM   #6
Aliantha
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This poem is a classroom standard over here, and it pretty much sums up my thoughts on my country.

My Country

The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze ...

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

**
Dorothea Mackeller
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:36 PM   #7
ZenGum
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I half expected that poem.

The first line of the second verse is often quoted, but almost every screws up the emphasis, because they neglect the context from the first verse.

It's not "I love a sunburnt country".

It's "I love a sunburnt country..."
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:43 PM   #8
Aliantha
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Well, I could hardly avoid it considering the title of the thread.

I do love the poem though.
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