This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Thing To Deliver Today: a panegyric.

Oh, it's easy to mock (wickedly good fun, too).

In fact mockery is fine unless it becomes a habit, when it can poison the minds of both the mocker and the mocked.

Is it too much to ask for understanding, responsibility and justice?


Still, how about trying a panegyric, that is, a formal piece of praise for someone or something?

Here's one to give you the idea. It's by G K Chesterton. Stilton is a place in Cambridgeshire, England, where they once sold a cheese called, er, stilton

(By law it now, bizarrely, has to be made somewhere else.)

Sonnet to a Stilton Cheese

Stilton, thou shouldst be living at this hour
And so thou art. Nor losest grace thereby;
England has need of thee, and so have I -
She is a Fen. Far as the eye can scour,
League after grassy league from Lincoln tower
To Stilton in the fields, she is a Fen.
Yet this high cheese, by choice of fenland men,
Like a tall green volcano rose in power.
Plain living and long drinking are no more,
And pure religion reading 'Household Words',
And sturdy manhood sitting still all day
Shrink, like this cheese that crumbles to its core;
While my digestion, like the House of Lords,
The heaviest burdens on herself doth lay.

Blue Stilton 01.jpg
photo by Coyau

Mind you, as you may have noticed, this panegyric manages to mock poor old Wordsworth at the same time. 

Clever man, was Chesterton - and, thank Heavens, still spreading cheer.

Word To Use Today: stilton. The name of the village of Stilton was Stichiltone in 1086. It probably means something like farmstead or village by the stile or at the bottom of a steep hill

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