|George Orwell, 1903 - 1950
© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
The famous English novelist, George Orwell, was the pseudonym used by Eric Arthur Blair.
Eric Arthur Blair was born in India in 1903. India was a country in the British Empire. His Father's name was Richard;
his Mother's, Ida.
Richard worked two jobs. His main employment was as an officer in the British Imperial Police Service, in India.
His second job, part time for no pay, was as a Primary School teacher. That is where my Grandfather met Eric. The both of
them were taught by Eric's Father.
When Eric was sixteen, he and his parents left India so that he could continue his education in England. His parents never
returned to India.
In the school where Richard Blair taught in India, every class had one teacher that taught all subjects. Among the subjects
Richard taught was verse poetry, especially Arithmetic Verse Poetry.
Since I have never found evidence that Arithmetic Verse Poetry was known to anyone else in the world of English literature,
I think it is safe to conclude that the Arithmetic Verse Poetry approach had been invented by Richard Blair in India. Among
the first persons to whom he demonstrated his new invention, were his son, Eric, and my Grampa among other students in the
For centuries from its beginnings, in English verse poetry, the highest achievement aimed for by literary poets, was flawless
verse metre, accompanied by perfect whole rhyme. In all those centuries up to the end of the nineteenth in England, verse was
regarded as the best poetry if it whole-rhymed, only, and at the end of the line, at least. No writer of verse poetry was regarded
as noteworthy, unless their published verse poetry was mostly, at least, in flawless metre, and whole-rhymed. At least, and
In Richard Blair's time, there were the beginnings of an aggressive and angry revolt against the centuries-old traditions
of flawless verse metre and rhyme, whole and other types. It is quite probable that Richard Blair's invention of Arithmetic
Verse Poetry was the last heroic stand of those centuries-old traditions inasmuch as Arithmetic Verse Poetry is firmly founded
on both. Being English, Richard Blair's first choice of verse metre always was the iambic metrical foot.
My Grampa said, in the class in India, teacher Richard Blair taught iambic metre, mostly. All verse poetry assignments given
to students were for only iambic compositions. In his lessons, Richard taught his students how to subject all published poems
to the test of Arithmetic Verse Poetry. None survived Richard's 100% perfect whole-rhyme requirement; some few, his
Grampa said that after a few lessons, the students were thrilled to discover that perfection in Arithmetic Verse Poetry in their
original compositions, was always achievable within the thirty-minute class period because the rules were so definite, and
In their classroom assignments for original compositions, only 100% perfect whole-rhyme accompanied by flawless iambic verse,
were accepted as passing grades. Grampa said by the end of the year, all students were achieving the highest marks in all
assignments. Verse poetry became the preferred subject so much so, that, by popular request, it often usurped the time of other
When Eric returned alone to India in 1922, Grampa had already emigrated to British South Africa as a school teacher.
In South Africa, Grampa and my Granny married. Both were school teachers in Durban. My Grampa taught at a school for
boys. My Granny taught at a school for girls, farther down the same road, Dunn Road. Both schools were on the same road.
By sheer chance, Grampa met Eric, again, in South Africa. Eric was a teacher at a school for boys in Durban. They met on a
Saturday at the Victoria Street fruit and vegetable market. On the one hand, it was strange where they met, because the British
in Durban rarely shopped at the Victoria Street market. The market for British food was a few blocks away on Berea Road.
On the other hand, their meeting was inevitable because the Victoria Street market sold only "Indian food." Eric was being
driven to Victoria Street by his need for Indian food in South Africa. Eric visited my Grandparents a few times in their home in
All Primary schools everywhere in the British Empire taught verse poetry. Granny wrote verse poetry for herself, as
well. When Eric visited Grampa and Granny at home, Grampa and Eric introduced Granny to Arithmetic Verse Poetry.
Granny loved Arithmetic Verse Poetry. She told us she found it the most practical approach to verse poetry because it provided
a scientific base for the mysteries of the aesthetics of flawless verse metre and perfect whole rhyme.
For long after Eric left South Africa, Granny experimented with Arithmetic Verse Poetry. Among her poems were some of the
pieces Eric had written in their home. Long after Eric left South Africa, Grampa and Granny spent fun times analyzing famous
published verse poems by other writers by Richard Blair's Arithmetic Verse Poetry rules.
When I expressed an interest, Granny tried to complete some of Eric Blair's fragments of pieces for me. The one I include here,
"Universal Eulogy", is the only fragment Granny said she was about eighty percent satisfied would have been how Eric himself
would have finished it.
Richard Blair had taught that in his Arithmetic Verse Poetry compositions, only phonetic spelling served. He derived his
phonetic spelling from dictionaries. He taught that whole rhyme is measured by matching syllables; not matching words.
Grampa and Granny used the phonetic spelling provided in the Oxford English dictionary. Another rule Richard used, which he
borrowed from outside his own inventions, was the rule William Shakespeare observed for the maximum distance between
syllables of whole rhyme in his verse compositions; not more than seventy iambic syllables apart.
The poem, "Universal Eulogy", has sixty-eight syllables in flawless iambic verse metre, which means every syllable complies
with Shakespeare's practised distance. As well, the sixty-eight syllables of "Universal Eulogy" are in 100% perfect whole rhyme,
by Richard Blair's rules.
Of a line continuing
Forever and forever from
Eternity forever Passing by
Into eternity ahead.
Pause a little while,
In quiet, honouring
Of the beginning of
This new infinity
My Grandparents showed no evidence that they knew that Eric Blair used the pseudonym, George Orwell, for his publications.
Our home in Durban, South Africa, had hundreds of books. Not even one written by George Orwell.
My Grampa died in 1949, in South Africa; one year before Eric died in England in 1950. My Granny died in 1973, in South