Tag Archives: Lord Byron

Eternal Spirit of the Chainless Mind

This is a medal commemorating the famous Nottinghamshire poet Lord Byron. Apart from poetry he is best known for letchery, fathering Ada Lovelace, and being a hero of the Greek War of Independence. I’m not a great fan of long poems written in old fashioned English, so Byron’s poetic brilliance has passed me by.  Same goes for his contribution to the Greek War – he seems to have arrived and died without doing much in the way of liberating Greece, though the Greeks seem happy enough with him.


Lord Byron Medallion by Ron Dutton

He does, however provide me with half my knowledge of Assyrians, which came in handy when viewing this blog. It’s an interesting post, with excellent pictures of Assyrian carvings.

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold.

If you want to read a good book which includes Byron’s final years you can do worse than read Lord Byron’s Jackal. It’s an excellent book about Edward Trelawny, friend of Shelley and Byron, liar, raconteur and bandit chief. As the man who ordered Shelley’s boat and who went to Greece with Byron he probably did more damage to English Literature than Mills & Boon.

The reverse inscription comes from the poem The Prisoner of Chillon. It’s depressing and it’s long, so I linked to Wikipedia instead of the poem itself.


The Prisoner of Chillon – a deadly dull poem

The medal, as you can tell from the label in the lid, is by Ron Dutton. He’s a moderately well-known designer of art medals and designed the reverse of the 1999 £2 coin which commemorates the Rugby World Cup.

I saw one of these medals at the recent Numismatic Society meeting and, when someone mentioned they would like one I said we had one in the shop. The collector who had given the talk immediately jumped in to tell the interested party ours was too expensive, as he had bought his in auction for a quarter of the price.

This shows the elasticity of price in collecting circles. Our price was fair for a modern art medal, but to a collector, it seemed expensive. Things often seem expensive to collectors, but when they come to sell them they are always happy to accept a profit. Five days later someone bought it off our eBay site.

It just goes to show…

A Card Carrying Poet

I joined The Poetry Society last week.

It’s my version of a mid-life crisis. I didn’t buy a motor cycle or a sports car when I hit mid-life crisis time, and I avoided the leather trouser and ponytail look, so I decided it was acceptable. To be fair, it wasn’t a logical decision – it was all based on practicality.

With my bad knee and generous proportions I’m not going to fit into a sports car or (more importantly) get out of one. Same goes for leather trousers.

I no longer have the follicular fortitude for a ponytail, so that was out, and it only left the motor cycle. Harley-Davidson do a very reasonable finance plan, which is tailored to the needs of a middle-aged men who wants to demonstrate both machismo and economy.

Julia looked at me resignedly, as she does.

Married men will know that look.

After a few years I finally found the ideal thing to demonstrate my bohemian credentials with economy, and avoid people pointing at me in the street. Membership of the Poetry Society is available from £22 a year. Well, basic membership is. Full membership is £37. Well, almost. That’s actually the concessionary price. It cost me £43 in the end.

£22 to £43 in one swift movement. And they say poets have no regard for business. Ha!

When it arrived there was a healthy clunk from the package, containing a magazine the size of a book and a load of papers. I’ve not looked yet as, in my experience, such stuff is hardly ever worth reading. I’ll read the Poetry Review later.

Meanwhile I’m fascinated by the membership card. Yes, a credit card sized card for my wallet. You wonder how Wordsworth and Byron managed without a card and a laptop.

With that now safely tucked away between my TESCO card and my RSPB card I can finally begin being “mad, bad and dangerous to know”.