“ON THE FARM”: R.S.THOMAS -NATURE AND REDEMPTION.

On the Farm There was Dai Puw. He was no good. They put him in the fields to dock swedes, And took the knife from him, when he came home At late evening with a grin Like the slash of a knife on his face. There was Llew Puw, and he was no good. EveryContinue reading ““ON THE FARM”: R.S.THOMAS -NATURE AND REDEMPTION.”

” CAN SOCIALISTS BE HAPPY?”: WHY DOES UTOPIA NOT WORK?

I have just been reading Orwell’s essay entitled “Can Socialists Be Happy”?” it sounds a challenging title, particularly from a writer of the Left who fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s. Interestingly Orwelll was encouraged to ask the question by comparing the writings of Charles Dickens with aContinue reading “” CAN SOCIALISTS BE HAPPY?”: WHY DOES UTOPIA NOT WORK?”

GEORGE ORWELL: ON WRITING GOOD ENGLISH.

All aspiring writers can learn from Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language” on writing good English as opposed to bad. Written in 1945 it remains an essay that is very much up-to date. Although the title suggests a political aspect to the discussion this is limited and does not affect the essay’s relevance. ItContinue reading “GEORGE ORWELL: ON WRITING GOOD ENGLISH.”

“COMPUTERS CAN WRITE POETRY”: “YES THEY CAN”; “NO THEY CAN’T”.

THis is how the powerful critic F.R. Leavis described the possibility back in 1970 in his essay ““Literarism” versus “scientism”“. I was, I confess, a little amused when, sitting at a formal lunch next to the director of a City Art Gallery, I was told by him, in the tone of saying something very impressive:Continue reading ““COMPUTERS CAN WRITE POETRY”: “YES THEY CAN”; “NO THEY CAN’T”.”

FROM TOWER OF BABEL TO PENTECOST

And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language;and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So theContinue reading “FROM TOWER OF BABEL TO PENTECOST”

RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER: PART VI

FIRST VOICE “But tell me,tell me! speak again, Thy soft response renewing- What makes that ship drive on so fast? What is the ocean doing?” SECOND VOICE Still as slave before his lord, The ocean hath no blast; His great bright eye most silently Up to the moon is cast- If he may know whichContinue reading “RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER: PART VI”

WILLIAM BLAKE : “JESUS WAS AN ARTIST”

Verily , verily I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the earth and die it abideth alone: but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit.” GoSPEL OF ST. JOHN 12.24 Curiously, although brought up on the Bible, I never noticed this saying until I read Dostoevsky’s great novel The BrothersContinue reading “WILLIAM BLAKE : “JESUS WAS AN ARTIST””

“GETTING YOUR RHYTHM RIGHT”

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learned to dance, ‘Tis not enough no harshness gives offence, The sound must seem an echo of the sense; Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; But when loud surges lashContinue reading ““GETTING YOUR RHYTHM RIGHT””

WHAT KIND OF READER ARE YOU?

Quotation from Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Readers may be divided into four classes: 1. Sponges, who absorb all they read, and return it nearly in the same state, only a little dirtied. 2. Sand- glasses who retain nothing and are content to get through a book for getting through the time 3. Strain-bags, who retain merelyContinue reading “WHAT KIND OF READER ARE YOU?”

WORDS TO RE-CHARGE 1: “COMFORT YE , COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE”.

When words are allowed to weaken, they may need to be re-charged. After all language, as well as being out there, is within. When a valuable word becomes softened something is diminished within us: a meaning that might be precious. Take the word ““comfort” or its cognate “comfortable”. We say to “live in comfort” andContinue reading “WORDS TO RE-CHARGE 1: “COMFORT YE , COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE”.”