Shakespeare's Birthday

 I once made the mistake of sharing my dislike for Thomas Hardy with a teacher (I dislike quite a few of those authors you’re supposed to like) and she turned to me and said: “you can’t say that! That’s like saying you don’t like Shakespeare or something!” And yet, I hated Shakespeare when I was in school.  English lessons were spent going through Macbeth at a painstakingly slow pace: translating word-for-word until the meaning was lost.  

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

unbearable lightness

“The brain appears to possess a special area which we might call poetic memory and which records everything that charms or touches us, that makes our lives beautiful ... Love begins with a metaphor. Which is to say, love begins at the point when a woman enters her first word into our poetic memory.”

Recipe: Easter Biscuits

Apparently you're supposed to bake these biscuits on the morning of Easter Sunday and give them away as gifts (ha); I am, however, a maverick baker who decided to bake these weeks before Easter and to spend the time between now and then eating said biscuits.  If you've never tried them before I would say they're quite like shortbread but with some light spice flavouring and fruit.  And as everyone knows the raisins in these will count towards your 5-a-day so are good for you, sort of... ;)

World Poetry Day

"Poetry is a song of freedom, enabling us to affirm our identity through creation. Poetry is also the song of our deepest feelings; in the words of the Brazilian poet and diplomat João Cabral de Melo Neto, “even unintentionally, every word that comes from emotion is poetry”. Through its words and its rhythm, poetry gives shape to our dreams of peace, justice and dignity, and gives us the strength and desire to mobilize to make them real."

I originally intended on sharing one of my own favourite poems but thought that it would be much more fun for everyone else to share theirs (you can find a selection of some of mine here though, if you're stuck for ideas).  There are also 50 of Poetry's most poignant lines over here.   So - let us all know - what's your favourite poem?

Wayward: Fetching Tales from a Year on the Road

Tom Gates quit his day job managing bands and took off on a worldwide adventure.  He funded his way around the world writing freelance articles for various travel websites -- making his way through twelve countries in twelve months.  Wayward is the amalgamation of those columns - a short and snappy book full of vignettes of travel adventures and people met on his wayward year away from the real world.

Stoner: A Novel

William Stoner, from an outsider’s perspective, has lived a dull and unfulfilled life.  Growing up on a farm in Missouri hard work was engrained on every line on his parent’s face; despite only being in their early twenties when they had their son farm-life soon meant that their faces were hollow and their hair prematurely grey.   He enrolled at the University of Missouri in the new agricultural course; at first he was fascinated by the magical properties of soil to which he was oblivious, but it was the compulsory course in English Literature which changed his life forever.  As the tutor asks questions about Shakespearean sonnets he unwittingly awakens a lifelong love of literature in Stoner.  Soon Stoner’s agricultural degree is an English one and memories of his farm-life are forgotten.


This may sound silly - but I could not have stumbled across this poem at a more fitting moment than when I did.  I am at the stage in my life, close to finishing University, where lots of decisions are being made about my future.  I've noticed there's a tendency amongst my fellow students (and myself) to watch what everyone else is see if we're doing enough...if we're doing the 'right' thing.  All of these magical moments are being overlooked because we're far too busy watching one another.  Sadly, I think that this can be the case for the rest of our lives if we're not careful, and this poem certainly put me in my place - something I couldn't be happier about.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!