Life Saving: Why We Need Poetry

Reading a book of poems can be such a pleasure. There’s the thrill of discovering a poem that absolutely bowls you over, the pleasure of re-reading an old favourite and learning something about the life of the poet or poets whose poetry fills the book. I derived all three pleasures from Life Saving: Why We Need Poetry, Introductions to Great Poets by Josephine Hart. Continue reading “Life Saving: Why We Need Poetry”

Kamala Das and Nissim Ezekiel

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. Continue reading “Kamala Das and Nissim Ezekiel”

JB Priestley: 50 years before Brexit

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. Continue reading “JB Priestley: 50 years before Brexit”