Sad times. I lament saying that when encountering the headline ‘Gary Speed found dead’, I knew what the cause would be.
Every so often, we hit those defining moments where we ask ourselves the all-important questions. What has made us who we are? Why do we do what we do? Why do we live the way we live? What do we value most in life?
Ideally, we want our lives to lead upwards trajectories. When somebody hits particular heights for themselves, they struggle to contemplate living within or below that potential. That’s the intricate psychology of accomplishment.
The sci-fi talk about ‘fixed points in time’ is something that has really caught my attention. Without the ability to turn back time, it’s left for us to acknowledge our life-defining moments (if we choose to do so).
Ekphrasis becomes a common feature of Marvell’s Interregnum writing, but before it served his Cromwellian verse, these perspective features – of viewing and reflection, of the viewer and beyond – combine in a remarkable way in Marvell’s Upon Appleton House.
As a theme, privacy remains a dark and complex subject. Our latest episode on KUSP Radio was generously dedicated to my favourite poems, and featured ‘Sestina’ by Elizabeth Bishop and ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ by Robert Browning: tragedies behind closed doors.
it’s one thing to use literature as biographical evidence of its author; it’s another to believe you can use your own personal autobiographical experience to analyse literature. A personal reading of Andrew Marvell’s ‘seduction’ poem, ‘To His Coy Mistress’.
Most of us are guilty at some point of writing in cryptics. Why do we do it? Why express ourselves in terms that are not meant to be understood? Is it, perhaps, a deep subconscious desire to be public with our privacy? Is it more about reaching out, or being reached out to? A few thoughts on why we so often seek to tangle rather than untangle.
The highlight of this year has been participating in recordings for The Poetry Show on KUSP Radio, California. This post is indebted to a discussion of Andrew Marvell’s ‘The Garden’ and Christina Rossetti’s ‘In the Willow Shade’ for our fourth installment which aired on 8th May.
Regular users of social media networks will no doubt have noticed – if their friends lists are anything like mine – that politics is again becoming a very public sport. Yesterday, a referendum was held on whether to adopt the ‘Alternative Vote’ system, turning social networking sites into moral and ideological crusades.