#BurnsNight

I dropped by the Albany statue for Robert Burns to pay my respects on his birthday. My friend Terry tells me after Columbus and Queen Victoria, he’s the figure with the most statues in his honour. He’s a lot more palatable than those two, too. The panels around the sides include a rendition of Tam…

See Emily Play

The last event for me in October was NEPCA at UMass-Amherst where I gave a presentation on Elisabeth Sanxay Holding’s The Blank Wall; at PCA National this spring I’ll be talking about the film adaptations, too. I also finally visited Emily Dickinson’s house. Despite living in New England for many years, I had not managed to get there. It was…

Video: Songs of Defiance

Denied the opportunity to use my fancy schmancy Powerpoint presentation at the performance of ‘Songs of Defiance’ on Monday at the Arts Center, I decided to just record the poem and make it a video. Of course I did it in bits and pieces in between other things so it’s only just now done. The…

Review: Diagnosis by Alessandra Bava

DIAGNOSIS Alessandra Bava Chapbook Dancing Girl Press Life is short: I find I have less and less time to review books because I am too busy writing them. Consequently I only review books that I simply have to urge people to read. Like this one: poetry is an investment. A slender chapbook takes no time…

It’s Valentine’s Day

If you hate the holiday, blame Chaucer. If you enjoy it, here’s a lovely poem. As I often find myself far from my beloved, it comes to mind when ever I travel. A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning By John Donne As virtuous men pass mildly away,    And whisper to their souls to go, Whilst some of…

Anticipation

We have tickets for two plays coming up at Dundee Rep: Let The Right One In A stage adaptation by Jack Thorne based on the Swedish novel and screenplay of the film by John Ajvide Lindqvist Directed by John Tiffany Associate Director Steven Hoggett. A major new production, Let the Right One In is a…

Asking the Right Questions

I’ll be spending a very windy Hogamany here in Scotland; the gales have been howling the last few nights. It’s been bitingly cold, too, and damp — but at least it’s not been raining as much in the rest of Britain (eep! a lot of flooding). Unlike Edinburgh, there’s not a lot of Hogmanay fireworks…

Devil’s Night

Things were quieter in upstate NY than down in the city. We braced for more, but it never came — phew. Peg and I had good food, the dogs and movies. I’ve been so crazy busy lately it was good to have an excuse to shut everything down, put up my feet and take it…

The Fairy Child

The Fairy Child by Lord Dunsany From the low white walls and the church’s steeple,From our little fields under grass or grain,I’m gone away to the fairy people.I shall not come to the town again.You may see a girl with my face and tresses,You may see one come to my mother’s doorWho may speak my…

Friday’s Forgotten Books: Complete Nonsense

Tomorrow is the 200th anniversary of Edward Lear’s birth. There’s a terrific blog that keeps track of all the events and and another that prints pages from Lear’s diary. In a wonderful piece in the Independent David Quantick wrote winningly about Lear and the appeal of nonsense. I have to say, I was convinced before…