Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

23 Apr

They say Housman was in all likelihood clinically depressed when he penned the sixty-three poems of his nineteenth century anthology, A Shropshire Lad. But isn’t depression an entry level requirement for poets? Loveliest of trees is the best known poem … Read More »

Steve McCurry in Taipei

31 Mar

Unsurprised is not unthrilled though. Given my love of photography and travel – including the Afghanistan and Rajasthan of his most mesmerising images – McCurry’s subjects speak to me more directly, more fully and more durably than those of any … Read More »

The Wave, Arizona

7 Mar

My denunciations of America – with “the planet’s most rapacious capitalism” at the kinder end of the spectrum –  refer to its ruling class, not its people. But here’s a thought. Their country’s diversity of climate, and plethora of mind-blowing … Read More »

#academia too?

5 Feb

A few years ago I heard a veteran journalist on how, with pounding heart and now-or-never audacity as his one and only interview with Woody Allen drew to a close, he’d asked: How come someone as ugly as you attracts … Read More »

Love at Theresienstadt

24 Jan

All you need is love. The Beatles I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do?  – they’re really saying, I love you. Louis Armstrong A recent post saw me invoking Maslow as if his ‘hierarchy of human need’ … Read More »

Thoughts on Ms Paltrow’s pitsy-patsy

14 Jan

“Bankers’ nieces seek perfection”, sneered Dylan in an otherwise rare ode to romantic love, “expecting all the gifts that wise men bring.” He’d clearly been mugging up on his Maslow. What’s more, once our needs at one level are met, … Read More »