What’s the difference between writers and journalists? Journalists write to inform the public about what’s happening in the world. Writers can write about themselves and imaginary worlds. I was reminded of the difference while reading the book, Why Write?
The author, Mark Edmundson, does not contrast writers and journalists. But he could be alluding to journalists when he talks about writers who “write to learn something”. They are sociable, equally at home with others, gathering material, and alone, writing, at their desks, he says.
The Readability bookmarking service was shut down on September 30. But Readability’s armchair icon can still be found in the Feedbin news aggregator. It’s what makes reading articles in Feedbin so simple and easy on the eye. Click on the armchair icon and you get to read the entire article from any website in a clear, easy-to-read format without having to go to the website itself.
Ah, the “sensual strut” of Dylan Thomas! I can’t forget those words of his.
I couldn’t recall the poem where he wrote those words, so I searched Google and found it. It’s not one of his best known poems, but those two words from it – “sensual strut” – sum up the appeal of Dylan Thomas, at least to me.
John Le Carre once said, ” ‘The cat sat on the mat’ is not the beginning of a story, but ‘the cat sat on the dog’s mat’.” He knows how to hook a reader. Yesterday, on his 85th birthday, I opened his very first book, Call for the Dead, published 55 years ago, in 1961.
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.
I just read a poem by Emily Dickinson and two poems by Elizabeth Bishop which I had never read before. Emily Dickinson’s poem is about a carriage ride with Death. Elizabeth Bishop’s poems have humour and sadness. I found them in a collection of poems where the poets are introduced by the adman Maurice Saatchi’s late wife, the writer Josephine Hart.
I have loved Bob Dylan from the time I heard Blowin’ in the Wind way back in the Sixties. But Bob Dylan Nobel laureate! Winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature! Call me old-fashioned. I prefer to read literature and listen to music. Dylan’s songs may be poems set to music. But I would rather read the poems of WH Auden and Dylan Thomas, neither of whom won the Nobel Prize. Dylan I will listen to.