The Remnant

The Remnant


I belong to the remnant of a time long past

a dying breed who stood at the mast

A redundant lineage known for good manners

now old and given to stutters and stammers


We were born at a time of great austerity

about to cross the threshold into eternity

We still believe in liberty and freedom of speech

whilst reclining in deckchairs on Brighton beach


We were taught to remove gloves to shake hands

and are tolerably polite to those from foreign lands

We continue to read books with paper pages

as did all our ancestors throughout the ages


Instead of e mails we still write letters

and readily acknowledge those who are our bettters

Some of us still smoke the occasional pipe

and pluck tomatoes before they are ripe


We are keen observers of the world today

which many of us view with some dismay

We remain British with our true reserve

and only take what we feel we deserve


Greed is abhorent as we know how to make do

and still use the greeting How do you do

We ignore health warnings and live life to the full

and believe me life is never ever dull

◄ Sweet Ambition

Shrivelled ►


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keith jeffries

Sat 8th Jan 2022 18:42

Not wishing to boast but I still wear a hat and before addressing a lady I doff my hat before speaking. I also remove my right hand glove before shaking hands, open doors for ladies and disabled people, surrender my seat on public transport when appropriate, walk on the outside when accompanying a lady. I use expressions such as
May I
Thank you.
I greet strangers in my neighbourhood with the time of day. I do these courtesies as a matter of course without thinking. Why should we conform to an age which is fast becoming mannerless? Make a stand against bad manners by setting an example. What harm can it do?

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Graham Sherwood

Sat 8th Jan 2022 16:39

Crikey Keith, you’ve shaken a few feather with me in this one. Manner, politeness, chivalry etc are fast becoming museum pieces. Respecting elders was always a given. Nothing rankles me more these days than being greeted with ‘hi guys’ and not sir or madam!
I remember when men would politely lift their hats when greeting a lady and if one was out on the street when a funeral cortège passed, one would stand at the curb and bow one’s head etc. Opening doors, ladies first always.
All this is gradually going to shit sadly.

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keith jeffries

Sat 8th Jan 2022 16:28

Thank you to all who read this poem and expressed likes or made comments, some of which I find interesting. Without being unduly unkind to following generations there has been a noticeable decline in manners. I don't know what one can attribute this to. I always remember my father's words, "manners maketh man". This is indeed true.
Thank you again,

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Stephen Gospage

Sat 8th Jan 2022 16:23

Beautifully written, Keith, and you are clearly passionate about your subject. Many aspects of "modern life" annoy me as well and I can identify with what say, even if I may take issue with one or two of the views expressed.

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John Botterill

Sat 8th Jan 2022 16:08

Love the sentiments and the skilful way they are expressed, Keith. Thanks. John

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M.C. Newberry

Sat 8th Jan 2022 15:56

So much to identify with here. I retain the habit of walking on the outside of the pavement to pass others when the occasion arises, plus other modes of behaviour handed down by my
parents and their contemporaries who were young themselves between the two world wars when "manners" were de rigueur.
And I remember my step-father's unfailing custom of lifting
his hat (a trilby favoured by many men of his generation) upon
meeting/greeting any woman. Hats, like the etiquette that
provided the oil that lubricated social interaction, seem largely
absent nowadays certain traditional
occupations that survive the passing of the years and still
please when observed.

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kJ Walker

Sat 8th Jan 2022 10:38

Haven't heard the greeting "How do you do" for e long time.
Manners are very important. It does seem that many youngsters don't have manners anymore, and probably many of them don't.
But the rules have changed. And parents don't drill the courtesies into their children in the way that our parents did to us
It could well be that some of the younger generation are well mannered, but in a different way to the manners that we were taught.

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julie callaghan

Fri 7th Jan 2022 23:32

Hats off to you for this one Keith. Thank you

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