Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Summer's Day

I realize I am a day late, and probably a dollar short, but sometimes life is just happening too quickly to sort out the hero the day in time. Either way, the smoothly dressed fellow above is one George Gordon otherwise known as Lord Byron born January 22nd, 1788 in London, England. He was the son of a sea captain, and the woman he married for her money. He had a childhood that included a governess that would crawl into his bed when he was 11 years old, and "play tricks with his person." After the typical English schooling which saw him be on the field for the first ever Harrow vs Eton cricket game, he spent some time traveling in the Near East. In 1812, he embarked on a scandalous love affair with the married Lady Caroline Lamb. It was to be one of many dangerous affairs he would have, and long after Byron broke off the affair, Lady Caroline stalked him by coming to his house dressed as a page boy. She supposedly was a bit off in the head, and sent him letter containing her pubic hair. Losing Byron made her so upset that she lost a lot of weight, and Byron cruelly remarked that he was being "haunted by a skeleton." It was Lady Caroline that famously said that Byron was "mad, bad, and dangerous to know." He eventually married a cousin of Lady Caroline in 1815, but the married was not a happy one with rumors of abuse, and it lasted barely over a year. He left England in 1816, mostly to get away from the frowning public opinion about his personal life. He was not to return to his native soil alive. The last eight years of his life were spent abroad, living the high life on the continent. Living in Genoa from 1821-1823 he was drawn to the plight of the Greeks that were seeking independence from the Ottoman Empire. He went to Greece, and in spite of his lack of military training, decided to help the Greek army fight for their independence. It was here that he caught the violent fever that was to kill him at the age of 36. It was literature's great loss. Some of his poems are just fucking masterful "She Walks in Beauty like the Night" is one of my favourites, and Don Juan is not a bad piece of writing either. He and I shared a common affliction, we both have/had a club foot. We even share the fact that it is our right foot that is the club foot. Byron was quite sensitive about his affliction, not allowing portraits of him to show the club foot. He was one wild man, and lived his life like a wild man. So for living that life to the limits, and writing some damn fine poetry, and being a real life hero to the Greeks, George Gordon, Lord Byron (January 22nd, 1788- April 19th, 1824, at the age of 36), you are my (150th) hero of the day.

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