About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Birthday poem for Richard Dawkins

Sometimes I can't resist an opportunity to flex my literary muscles by dashing off a sonnet.

Well, it was Richard Dawkins' 66th birthday yesterday - he shares a birthday with this little blog as it turns out. So I wrote the following to celebrate (some of the references, especially in the third quatrain, are a bit obscure, alas):


Richard, you've reached the age of 66,
The number of 9.9 per cent of a Beast.
So, celebrate! The treacheries and tricks
Of priests and critics won't disturb your Feast.

Tomorrow, yes, there's more work to be done:
Delusions to be combatted, and all.
Today, for once, forget it ... and just have fun:
It's only once a year, so have a ball.

Your plethora of parasites - your curse -
Won't go away. Like fleas upon a hound,
They know they're on a good thing. Then there's worse:
Appeasers, pleased to flee the dangerous ground.

So, take a break - there's soon another year,
Defying darkness, misery and fear.


Anonymous said...

Lovely poem...thanks for it :) u can also have a look at my blog where u'll find some useful tips on birthday :) hope to hear from u soon!

Anonymous said...

Hey, great poem! Dawkins would love it.

Russell Blackford said...

He may have seen it, Tony, since I posted a copy on his site. If so, hope he did like it. At least he'll get the joke about fleas, since it's based on a comment of his own about those writers who insist on publishing books with titles like The Dawkins Delusion.