Archive for March 1, 2011

Bravo Steven Davies!

Posted in Cricket with tags , , on March 1, 2011 by telescoper

Just a quick post to applaud the decision of Surrey (and England) wicket-keeper Steven Davies to go public about his sexuality. I think it is a very brave thing for him to have done. I congratulate him for his courage, and wish him well in facing the challenges ahead. His decision might also give heart to younger gay people enduring homophobic bullying, and help to spread the message that it gets better.

Here’s a picture of him starring with the bat for England against Pakistan last year.

Cricket is probably not one of the worst sports for homophobic attitudes, but he’s still bound to have to cope with some unpleasant barracking, both on the field and off. I’m sure he’ll be very apprehensive when he takes the field for the first games of the forthcoming County Championship, but he’s a talented cricketer and I’m sure he’ll answer his critics.

Moreover, if he gets selected for future England tours he might have to travel to countries where homosexuality is illegal, and who knows what will happen then. Still it’s good to hear that his England colleagues are supporting him, including captain Andrew Strauss and fellow wicket-keeper Matt Prior. Times have certainly changed. I couldn’t have imagined this happening even a decade ago.

Anyway, now that he’s “out” in one sense I hope he’ll avoid being so in the cricketing sense, at least while batting for England. Who knows? He might even score…


Another Poem for Another St David’s Day

Posted in Poetry with tags , , on March 1, 2011 by telescoper

It’s St David’s Day again. Tonight I’m off to the St David’s Day concert at St David’s Hall, which is being broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and which should have a cracking atmosphere because it’s sold out. Since we’ve got front-row seats you might even hear me coughing! I’ll try to post a review in due course, either this evening or tomorrow morning.

In case you’re wondering, I’m up early this morning in order to get a full day’s work in before the concert which starts at 7pm and which will need me to leave work earlier than usual.

Last year I marked the occasion of St David’s Day with a poem by Dylan Thomas and I’ve noticed that quite a few people have been reading that post in the last few days. It seems appropriate therefore to post another poem this year. It’s only since coming to Wales – which I did less than four years ago – that I’ve discovered the poetry of R.S. Thomas and in that short time I’ve developed a respect bordering on reverence for his work. It seems entirely fitting that I put up an example of his poems on St David’s Day. I hope you enjoy it!

There Is A Being, They Say by R. S. Thomas (1913-2000)

There is a being, they say,
neither body nor spirit,
that is more power than reason, more reason
than love, whose origins
are unknown, who is apart
and with us, the silence
to which we appeal, the architect
of our failure. It takes the genes
and experiments with them and our children
are born blind, or seeing have
smooth hands that are the instruments
of destruction. It is the spoor
in the world’s dark leading away
from the discovered victim, the expression
the sky shows us after
an excess of spleen. It has gifts it
distributes to those least fitted
to use them. It is everywhere and
nowhere, and looks sideways into the shocked face
of life, challenging it to disown it.

And here is the poet himself reading it