The Mad Pomegranate Tree

I had recently been perusing Cavafy – particularly reading the essay on him written by that doyen of Dons, Maurice Bowra in his book, The Creative Experiment. Bowra, of whom it has been said, ” …..either the most distinguished or the most notorious Oxford don of the early twentieth century. Classicist, poet, wit, raconteur extraordinary, and… Continue reading The Mad Pomegranate Tree

Two somewhat neglected 18th Cent Philosophers

The most accessible introduction to great philosophers, for me anyway, are the You-Tube programmes made by Bryan Magee maybe some 30 years ago. Particularly interesting was Iris Murdoch talking about Philosophy and Literature. Then there was the lucid conversation with Anthony Quinton on Spinoza and Leibnitz. The clearest philosophy book I managed to grasp however,… Continue reading Two somewhat neglected 18th Cent Philosophers

Musings on Catullus, Housman and Stoppard

From Catullus 64 Peliaco quondam prognatae uertice pinusdicuntur liquidas Neptuni nasse per undasPhasidos ad fluctus et fines Aeetaeos,cum lecti iuuenes, Argiuae robora pubis,auratam optantes Colchis auertere pellemausi sunt uada salsa cita decurrere puppi,caerula uerrentes abiegnis aequora palmis.diua quibus retinens in summis urbibus arces,ipsa leui fecit uolitantem flamine currum,pinea coniungens inflexae texta carinae.illa rudem cursu prima… Continue reading Musings on Catullus, Housman and Stoppard

World Poetry Day-Ovid in Exile -from Tristia Book 3

Barbarian Incursions If such waters had once been yours, Leander, those straits would not be guilty of your death. Since the dolphins can’t hurl themselves into the air, harsh winter holds them back if they try: and though Boreas roars and thrashes his wings, there’s no wave on the besieged waters. The ships stand locked in frozen marble, and no… Continue reading World Poetry Day-Ovid in Exile -from Tristia Book 3

“Nostalgia” a poem by Boris Pasternak

To give this book a dedicationThe desert sickened,And lions roared, and dawns of tigersTook hold of Kipling. A dried-up well of dreadful longingWas gaping, yawning.They swayed and shivered, rubbing shoulders,Sleek-skinned and tawny. Since then continuing foreverTheir sway in scansion,They stroll in mist through dewy meadowsDreamt up by the Ganges. Creeping at dawn in pits and… Continue reading “Nostalgia” a poem by Boris Pasternak

Histories of War as seen by two indispensible Poets-Part One

  Tony Harrison is a poet whom I feel I know rather well from his television appearances. He seemed to be on the box quite a lot around 2000 or so. By any criteria his is a radical poet from Leeds. In my imagination I see him as a radical voice from that period along… Continue reading Histories of War as seen by two indispensible Poets-Part One

Martial 10.85 – Paradoxical use for a sunken old boat in retirement

§ 10.85  ON LADON:Ladon, a boatman on the Tiber, bought himself when grown old, a bit of land on the banks of his beloved stream, .But as the overflowing Tiber often invaded it with raging floods, breaking into his ploughed fields, converting them in winter into a lake, he filled his worn-out boat, which was drawn up on the… Continue reading Martial 10.85 – Paradoxical use for a sunken old boat in retirement

You can read books or…..

You can get on and live your life. This was what I once was severely told by one lively lady. I have rather fretted about this remark ever since-more especially nowadays. More especially during lockdown. I have had a partiality for biography for quite a long time. I have always wanted to understand how others… Continue reading You can read books or…..

More Lowell and some recommended reading

Sailing Home from RapalloBY ROBERT LOWELL[February 1954] Your nurse could only speak Italian,but after twenty minutes I could imagine your final week, and tears ran down my cheeks…. When I embarked from Italy with my Mother’s body, the whole shoreline of the Golfo di Genovawas breaking into fiery flower.The crazy yellow and azure sea-sleds blasting… Continue reading More Lowell and some recommended reading