On this day, on October 5, in 1962, the Beatles’ first single, Love Me Do, was released with PS I Love You on the flip side in Britain. The rest is history. Philip Larkin summed it up most memorably in his poem, Annus Mirabilis:
Why do the most popular love stories have star-crossed lovers? Think of Romeo and Juliet. I am not ashamed to admit I was moved by Erich Segal’s Love Story. Nicholas Sparks’ handkerchief-wetting The Notebook ends with the lovers embracing, but one of them has Alzheimer’s.
Today is the birthday of Jan Morris. In my book, she ranks alongside John Updike, Lawrence Durrell and PG Wodehouse as one of the four finest 20th century writers in English.
What was the internet like before Google? It’s time to look back because we just crossed a milestone.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
Is the American Century Over? That is the title is a slim, little monograph by the American political scientist Joseph Nye published in 2015. He agrees with Time magazine founder Henry Luce, who wrote a remarkable essay in 1941 during the Second World War that the 20th century was the […]