Errol Barrow Day
Today is a special day in Bimshire;
Birthday wishes rekindled with great cheer;
Joyful Bajans have all come out to spree,
On this special day filled with lots of glee;
Bells of praises are ringing through the land;
With thankful hearts, Bajans honor this man
Errol Barrow, who wore more than one hat;
A true statesman and a real democrat
Barrow, the Father of Independence;
And yet on his birthday of remembrance;
We speak of him through poems, songs and dance;
Independence for us, left not to chance;
This pilot, Prime Minister naturally;
He brimmed with affections eloquently.
Occasional poetry is often lyrical. Lyric poems typically express personal emotional feelings and are traditionally the home of the present tense. They have special rhyming schemes and are often, but not always, set to music or beat. Poets whose body of works featured occasional poetry that stands among their highest literary achievements include Pindar the Ancient lyric Greek poet from Thebas, Quintus Horatius Flaccus known as Horace who was the leading Roman lyric poet, Pierne de Ronsard, the French poet whom the French called the “prince of poets”, Ben Jonson the English poet, John Dryden the English poet, John Milton the English poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe whose body of works include lyrical poetry, William Butler Yeats the Irish poet and the French poet, Stéphane Mallarmé whose real name was Étienne Mallarmé.
In the 18th century, especially in Germany, occasional poems were often written by women. In the 19th and 20th centuries, news papers in the United States of America often published occasional poems, and memorial poems for floods, train accidents, mine disasters and the like were frequently written as lyrics in ballad stanzas. The most publicized occasional poem in first decade of the 21st century in Western World, was the free verse poem “Praise Song for the Day” composed and read by Elizabeth Alexander at the inauguration of President Barack Obama of the USA in 2009 before television audience which averaged, according to news reports, averaged thirty-seven point eight (37.8) million people.
Poetics of the occasion is where poets use verse to tell of things that have been. This poetic stance is what separates poets from historians who use prose to tell of things that have been. However, occasional poetry must not go too far afield from accurate representation of the facts, but must invest heavily in what immediately and actually occurred, and the onus is on poets to search out the inmost kernel and meaning of an event and most importantly determine the prevailing moral and ethical considerations, a position put forward in Hegelian aesthetics by the German, Georg Wilhem Friedrich Hegel in his philosophy of Fine Arts.
Occasional poetry whether composed for every day persons in the community or persons holding public office or have held public office, this type of poetry is written to commemorate single events or anniversaries, such as birthdays, founding or dedications. The poem “Errol Barrow Day” falls into the category of public occasional poem. It pays tribute to the birthday of Sir Errol Walton Barrow which falls on January 21 a public holiday in Barbados. Sir Errol Walton Barrow, PC, QC was born on January 21, 1920 and died on June 1, 1987. His birthplace stands at the Garden a rural cottage on a small plantation which overlooks Maycocks in the parish of Saint Lucy, Barbados. Born into a family of political and civic activists in the parish of Saint Lucy, he was educated at Harrison College. He represented the parish of Saint John throughout his political career in Barbados, his constituents kept returning him as their representative. If any politician in Barbados had a secured seat in the Barbados House of Assembly it was Sir Errol Walton Barrow, the First Prime Minister of Barbados.