<a href="http://Carolina Latorre Canet, CC BY-SA 3.0 http://Carolina Latorre Canet, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons At university in the 1970s the rallying cry was, “Leisure is the basis of culture.” We thought that technology would enable creativity and soften the hardship of the world. Alas, technology chained us to work, created precarious jobs… Continue reading The World of Work
In the early 1970s I chanced upon a small book of poems translated from Xhosa that has in the years since intrigued me with an implicit set of questions around self-expression in one’s mother tongue. The pamphlet was The Making of a Servant and Other Poems, translated by Robert Kavanagh and Z.S. Quangule, by the… Continue reading Xhosa poetry
Why write in rhyme when free verse is firmly established as a format? Why cage your emotions and thoughts artificially? Why do I find myself attracted to the rumpty-tumpty rhythms of traditional poetry, the iambic pentameter and others that they teach you at school? For me, the choice of traditional formats is an extension of… Continue reading Why do poets rhyme all the time? (they don’t)
Note to self. Remember this advice from Wislawa Szymborska: "Your existential pains come a trifle too easily. We’ve had enough despair and gloomy depths. ‘Deep thoughts,’ dear Thomas, says (Mann, of course, who else), ‘should make us smile’ ." The link to the Poetry Foundation page.
In a sentence: In an age of self-obsession and poetry as therapy, poet and novelist Finuala Dowling’s work is outward oriented. She makes it her business to have an audience. Her poems talk about what is most painful to us, publicly and privately without inviting voyeurism and she’s not afraid of politics beyond slogans. And… Continue reading What’s so great about Finuala Dowling?