Published several decades after the first edition of Johnson’s dictionary, Francis Grose’s ‘A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue’ (1785) contained expressions that were already centuries old. Here’s a short history of a very familiar example, ‘arsy-varsey’. … More Falling Arse Over Tit Through History – A Lexical Journey
The Telegraph recently published an article entitled “Liberating, not lonely: the truth about being single”. The problem with this message is that it marginalises the importance of choice. A brief examination of an alternative ‘truth’. … More Liberating, not lonely? Another truth about being single.
I recently came across the story of Vivian Maier, a nanny whose photography during the 1950s and 60s lay buried in boxes for decades. Her prints uncover the life and work of a remarkable woman who was a shrewd and silent observer of her age. … More Opening the Box of Private Art: Marvell & Maier
I’ve never been a ‘lad’ in the sense of predatory and loutish behaviour, but the annual scrutiny of ‘lad culture’ has made me concerned about my sense of humour and how potentially offensive it is. … More No offence! Please forgive my humour.
A line of work we don’t think about too often is what happens to the dead when there’s nobody left. A poem by Rory Waterman and Uberto Pasolini’s remarkable ‘Still Life’ (2013) give us plenty of room for thought. … More Still Life
A summary of the 51st British Milton Seminar held in Birmingham in March 2015, and the fourth annual Milton lecture, ‘Milton and America’, delivered by Thomas Corns at the Mercers’ Hall in London. … More British Milton Seminar / Milton and America (2015)
My recent work on Marvell and ekphrasis explores several ways in which the poet negotiates the transition between text and visual object to advance his personal and political poetics. Here, I consider how we might view ‘The Gallery’ in light of recent ekphrastic debates. … More A Brush with Ekphrasis: Marvell’s ‘The Gallery’
A review of ‘Tonight the Summer’s Over’, the debut collection from Rory Waterman. … More Tonight the Summer’s Over
I’ve been trying hard – so hard – to force a change of mentality in recent weeks. But it doesn’t half bring forth its challenges, and that was truly epitomised this week. … More The Frightening Rule of ‘If’, not ‘When’
It’s the time of the year when, either in pleasure or platitude, we are naturally drawn to reflect upon companionship (or the absence of it). And though I’m rather at a loss after an already tribulation-filled February, it almost goes without saying that the good poet finds such a beautiful way of coming to terms with this absence. … More Epic Fail