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The Original "Getting Real"

The Original "Getting Real"
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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

St. Agnes' Eve

It's the eve of the feast of St. Agnes and though it's milder than it has been for the past couple of months, Keats' poem "On the Eve of St. Agnes" comes to mind.

St Agnes' Eve---Ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limp'd trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold:
Numb were the Beadsman's fingers, while he told
His rosary, and while his frosted breath,
Like pious incense from a censer old,
Seem'd taking flight for heaven, without a death,
Past the sweet Virgin's picture, while his prayer he saith....

I had this picture of St. Agnes (among countless other saints) when I was a small child and often wondered why saints always had that plaster cast look, which I tried unsuccessfully to emulate. St. Agnes, like most of the others in my collection, was a martyr who died some horrible death resisting someone who attacked 'her virtue'. Of course, that meant nothing to me as a child, all I saw was a saintly being who suffered horribly and died and was holy - and therefore equated suffering with holiness.

Funny, isn't it, how people talk about the horror of computer games set before children today! The only difference is that 'in my day' the suffering was imposed on one's self, and in those horrific games it is aimed at others. All of it is really most unpleasantly dangerous because it distorts young minds.

Thank heavens for the equilibrium of the less gory stories of childhood - like 'Watch With Mother', The Woodentops, Pogle's Wood and Tales of the Riverbank!!!

Watch with Mother

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