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Isaac Lowthian Bell (1816 – 1904)


In that stern, expensive portrait

he may have hung centre stage

just above his mantelpiece,

he is staring back at the world

like a founding father.


Self-contained and righteous,

he is the one who pays

the piper. Like it or not,

for your own good, you’ll dance

to the tune he’s called.


His name is Isaac Lowthian Bell –

industrial magnate, MP,

and twice elected mayor.

Should any fool forget it, hearken:

he is Sir Isaac to you.


His own children and theirs

have always called him Pater,

never risking Grandpapa.

Acclaimed by all, his greatness

is planetary, cold, austere.


◄ Iraqi Schoolgirls, 1932



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kealan coady

Sun 24th Feb 2019 21:20

I enjoyed this, its a classy piece of writing.

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Sat 23rd Feb 2019 22:02

Redolent of the classic Victorian paternalistic figure. and beautifully and lavishly portrayed David. It reminds me of the house of a headmaster I visited, the Stag at Bay at the turn of the stair.


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Stu Buck

Sat 23rd Feb 2019 19:17

nice piece of ekphrasia david and a nice picture too.

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