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Showing posts from July, 2015

i.m Lee Harwood.

I was sorry to hear of death of Lee Harwood, one of the country’s finest poets. A copy of his collected is never far from my bedside table, and it is a joy to revel in the light, space and air of his poems. Their warmth, their wit, their deceptive simplicity, their intelligence lightly worn. He’s one of the many poets for whom I owe my MA a debt of gratitude, would probably have found him in the end, but it saved a lot of time to be shoved in the right direction. Robert Sheppard’s description of his writing as “at once distanced and intimate” is a better summation than I can manage I often dislike to read tributes to poets by poets. So often an egotistical tone creeps in: “here’s how he influenced me” as if the tributee existed purely to provide grist to the poet’s mill. I’d be lying of I said he didn’t, but it seems unbecoming to bang on about it, so I’ll just let Lee speak for himself. RIP Brooklyn Lee Harwood The city isn’t necessary to our elegance It’s not a matter of

The vexed issue of trolls.

I’ve been giving a bit of thought to trolls of late. Luckily for me, I’m not a celebrity. And nor am I prone to sweeping public statements which I can’t actually back up with facts, furthermore I make a point of staying the hell away from comments threads on newspaper stories. I am disinclined to engage with idiots and long ago realised that the net is a prism for all that is grubby and disagreeable in the human psyche, so my limits of internet disagreement are defined by arguing with Australians on cricinfo comments threads, and most of them are fairly reasonable. So when I see vile comments and slurs thrown around on twitter or wherever I shake my head sadly for the vapidity of man and go about my day. I long since ceased wondering why people feel the need. But feel the need they do, and it really is time something was done about it. Because whilst it’s easy for me to say, I’m not a celebrity. More pertinently I’m not female, or homosexual. Unlike, for example, the marvellous Jack

Reynard the Scot

If you’d asked me a couple of weeks ago what the focus of the Westminster media would have been now, I’d have had to run through a lengthy list of possibilities before I wound up at fox-hunting. Likewise, if you’d asked me immediately after the election what one of the incoming majority governments first actions would be, I’d have run through an even longer list before I wound up at fox-hunting. I mean fox-hunting? Really? This is a hot button issue for you? Have you not noticed anything, um, else? Like, oh, I dunno, the potential destruction of the EU? Or the economy running out of steam? Or people getting shot by terrorists? Really? Huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’? Really? It’s almost as if the Tories, shocked at their sudden elevation to single party government have cast about floundering for something to do before gushing, with sudden relief “Foxes! That’ll do! Legalise ripping the blighters up again!” It’s an odd choice of policy to hang your hat on, at best. At worst, it’s a t

I...I...just need some space, okay? Or, it's not you, facebook, it's me

I took a decision on Friday which may well have some profound implications (tonue on half in cheek as I type). I chose to take a step back, draw a deep breath and...not go on facebook. I know, I know, I have effectively cut myself off from the wellspring of the digital age. I have also severed the only half-arsed connection I have with the vast majority of people in my life. It’s not a permanent thing, it’s just that me and facebook, well, we just need some space, okay? Well, to be more precise it’s more that I dimly realised that the time I was supposed to be spending writing was being spent aimlessly clicking through links which started off interesting, but quickly became black holes of nonsense. This is not the fault of my various facebook friends. I’m too old to have random ‘friends’ to whom I have no connection. There are either actual friends, family or connected in some way to one of my interests. As a result when I see news stories or links posted up, there’s often int