The name Peter Porter is not spoken with the reverent frequency it should be in his home country. Even his Wikipedia entry is sternly brusque and rather more concerned with the bibliography than the man.
But my goodness he can write poetry. If you’ve never read ‘An Angel in Blythburgh Church’ it’s possible that you don’t know what I’m talking about. You should. By which I mean you should read it, and then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
In the interim, check out this little peach: ‘Sex and the Over Forties’ Continue reading
When an unpleasant task must be performed, or an unpleasant journey must be undertaken my thoughts turn to retail therapy. This seems to be a trait common to many members of my benighted generation.
Unlike, I suspect, many members of my benighted generation, my idea of really good, truly satisfying and utterly enriching retail therapy occurs only when I’m on my knees (careful…) sifting through piles of books in op-shops. Continue reading
Posted in Bibliophilia
Tagged Bibliophilia, Christopher Silvester, Fred Hoyle, George Orwell, Isobelle Carmody, John Mortimer, John Stuart Mill, Kevin Gilbert, Morris Gleitzman, Op-Shops, Oswald Schwarz, Pamela Bone, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Poetry, Retail Therapy, Wilfred Owen
There has never been much in the assumption that poets are dreamy creatures, divorced from reality and the vulgar world of fleshly concerns. And the idea that the older the poetry the more decorous and subtle it will be about matters of the – shall we say – heart is dispelled immediately by a quick scanning of this little gem from Robert Herrick (1591 – 1674) called ‘Upon Julia’s Breasts’: Continue reading
Some months ago I was posting a link online, and encountered one of those charming security checks which demands that you type out two words in order to prove that you’re a human being capable of transcribing nonsense rather than a computer program that isn’t.
Imagine my shock and excitement, therefore, when I was asked to type out ‘exhibitions wanton’.
This, I thought to myself, was no mere security check. This was poetry. Continue reading
Posted in Poetry
Tagged Angry Penguins, Anne Knish, Arthur Davison Ficke, Ern Malley, Harold Stewart, James McAuley, Literary Hoaxes, Max Harris, Poetry, Shakespeare, Spectra, William Carlos Williams
Witter Bynner (1881-1968) is entirely new to me. Saddled with a rather unfortunate name, this son of New York and Massachusetts pursued a career in journalism, was booted out of his position of Professor of Oral English the University of California after he served booze to his students during the prohibition and finally settled in Santa Fe to get down to some serious writing.
Welcome to ‘The Wintry Mind’: Continue reading
Of all fictitious characters, Lucifer is my absolute favourite. He’s not as prominent in those two particularly well known fictions, the Old and the New Testaments, as I feel he ought to be, but Milton supplied the deficiency in Paradise Lost, and since then it’s been hard to keep the guy down.
I think my favourite representation of Satan on celluloid is brought to us by Al Pacino:
Posted in Poetry
Tagged Al Pacino, Arthur Conan Doyle, George Meredith, John Mortimer, Lucifer, Milton, Oscar Wilde, Paradise Lost, Poetry, Pre-Raphaelite, Satan, Sonnet, The Devil, The Oxford Book Of Villains
Past posts on poetry have been naked cheating on my part. In all cases, they have been poems I know well, and have known for years. Now, I have a slightly new system, and challenge for myself. From time to time, I’m going to open an anthology of poetry at random, find a poem I haven’t read before (and which is short enough to quote in its entirety) and write on it.
The first contender is by Walter Savage Landor, and takes its name from the first line: Continue reading
Posted in Poetry
Tagged Alcestis, Countess de Morlande, Helen of Troy, Ianthe, Poetry, R F Brewer, Shakespeare, Sonnet 18, Sophia Jane Smith, Tetrameter, Walter Savage Landor