Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, “Let me not to the marriage of true minds/ Admit impediments”, is the most popular poem for reading or reciting at weddings in Britain, said the Guardian in 2011. The Poetry Foundation website has a list of wedding poems chosen by its editors, a list that includes poems like Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways, John Donne’s The Good Morrow and Anne Bradstreet’s To My Dear and Loving Husband. My own favourites include more recent poems. [Read more…] about A Vow and more wedding poems
After a long time, I came across poems by Kamala Das and Nissim Ezekiel. I found Love, by Kamala Das, in Penguin’s Poems for Weddings, selected by Laura Barber, and Poet, Lover, Birdwatcher, by Nissim Ezekiel, in The Picador Book of Weddings, edited by Peter Forbes. The poems stirred old memories. Kamala Das was a sensation in her time. Here she is on her favourite theme. [Read more…] about Kamala Das and Nissim Ezekiel
Brexit shocked the world. But the writing had been on the wall. It had been foreseen nearly 50 years ago – by an English writer, naturally. Today is his birthday.
JB Priestley (September 13, 1894 – August 14, 1984 ) might have been forgotten by now had his play, An Inspector Calls, not been one of the prescribed texts for the English literature GCSE examination. Only a couple of his books can still be found in Singapore’s National Library Board catalogue. But he was one of the most popular writers and broadcasters of his time. [Read more…] about JB Priestley: 50 years before Brexit
Yesterday was the birthday of DH Lawrence (September 11, 1885 – March 2, 1930). So I read again one of his poems which I have liked ever since I came across it in my last days in high school. The poem is called Piano. [Read more…] about DH Lawrence: Piano, and Sons and Lovers
If You Want to Write is a book I love to go back to. I like the author, Brenda Ueland, because she genuinely encourages you to write. She doesn’t tell you how to write dialogue, construct a plot or create a character. First published in 1938, the book doesn’t go into technical details at all. Instead, you are encouraged to find your voice, be true to yourself, and write honestly and freely. [Read more…] about If you want to write
After a long time, I read a poem I first heard from my grandmother: Casabianca. It appears in Poetry by Heart, a collection of over 200 “Poems for Learning and Reciting”, to quote the subtitle. The book includes poems we were expected to learn in school. That’s not surprising. The anthology, published this year, marks the third anniversary of the Poetry by Heart recitation competition for schools and colleges in England. [Read more…] about Poetry by Heart