The news from a few days ago that Nigel Farage, the ‘Poundland Enoch Powell’ as Russell Brand memorably called him, had berated the RNLI on social media for providing what he called ‘a migrant taxi service’ across the Channel was of course both fascist flatulence about the value of migrants’ lives and a crass trivialisation… Continue reading On Patricia Beer and the RNLI
If you’ve read either of my haiku collections, you’ll know I have a fondness for rivers; but then, who doesn’t? Living in the middle of England, fifty-five miles from the nearest coastline, landlock naturally means that I gravitate to rivers and canals. Rotherham is where the Rother ends, at its confluence with the Don.The upstream… Continue reading Quiet flows the Don
My thanks to Robert Selby for publishing two poems of mine today, over at the Wild Court website, here.
A decade or so ago, I was a member for two or three years of the Twickenham Stanza group of the Poetry Society until it ceased following the closure of Langton’s bookshop, Church Street, in which the group met. The quality of the poems we workshopped was invariably high. Among the members was the fine… Continue reading On Brian Jones (no, not that one)
If you dislike football, and QPR and/or England even more, then you probably ought, as Des Lynam used to say, to look away now.I’ve been a football fan almost as far back as I can remember, and in 1973 chose QPR, then newly promoted to the old First Division, as my team. I sometimes wonder… Continue reading On football poetry and why it matters
A correspondence on haiku and then sonnets led me to dip into Don Paterson’s 1999 anthology 101 Sonnets (Faber). I was pleased to find Patrick Kavanagh’s ‘Inniskeen Road: July Evening’ included. It’s the only poem I’ve ever ‘borrowed’ from – I used the equally punning phrase ‘blooming sun’ in the first poem, concerning a herd… Continue reading On Kavanagh, Hughes, Burra and Sisson
In these days when UK politics and world events are enough to make you despair, it’s difficult to know whether blogging about poetry and other stuff has any relevance. There are many much more important voices which need to be heard than mine. So, I post on here now more out of occasional habit and,… Continue reading On HappenStance Press, the reader and the poet
Even in the summer, a visit to the ruins of any abbey in England is likely to prompt recollection of Shakespeare’s sonnet no. 73:That time of year thou mayst in me beholdWhen yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hangUpon those boughs which shake against the cold,Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.In… Continue reading On ruined abbeys
My latest OPOI (‘one point of interest’) review, of a pamphlet by Matthew Hollis, is on the Sphinx website here. As ever, there are lots of other, fine reviews to read.
Tomorrow, at 1pm BST, I’ll be reading alongside Antony Dunn and Becky Edwards in the latest instalment of Live Canon’s Friday Lunchtime Readings series. The link to register is here.