Sport is an inexhaustible source of good conversation and friendly disputation. The other day I was conversing with a group of friends who, like myself, find nothing more companionable and enjoyable than holding forth on the latest events and controversies in the world of sport.
A J Seymour is Guyana’s greatest man of letters. Martin Carter is the nation’s most renowned poet; Edgar Mittelholzer, Wilson Harris and Roy Heath are our outstanding novelists; and Denis Williams combined in one man a Renaissance range of talents as artist, novelist and anthropologist.
One way or the other, if any nation is to do well, beneath and beyond the rhetoric and the fruitless slogans, the real work has to be done by ordinary people who do not indulge in the rhetoric and who do not shout the slogans.
Secretly, like an earthquake underground hardly noticed, a revolution is going on which will eventually change completely the way the world is organized.
When I was young I sometimes used to sit in the evening with an old aunt while she told her rosary beads.
“Records are there to be broken,” Sobers observed when asked how he felt when Lara eclipsed his world record Test score of 365.
There is an exact relationship between how language is used and how power is exercised.
What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles.
The diaries of William Gladstone, one of the greatest British prime ministers, are astonishing.
I love poetry. It is the quiet passion of my life. When I was a child my mother read me old nursery rhymes at bedtime and they had the lilt of poetry in them which stayed with me forever.
In any given situation we assume that people, including ourselves, will act sensibly.
Arriving at the age of 80, so suddenly after being born, I recognize very clearly that I am slowing to a jog if not quite yet a hobble.
As golden afternoon transmutes into silver evening and then into velvet darkness fretted by stars I sit to read and think and dream.
Samuel Johnson, that great man of letters and heavyweight of good sense in eighteenth century England, commonly said the people whom we should most beware in the world are those who constantly insist on finding fault, those whose clouds are never lit by silver linings, those who everlastingly “refuse to be pleased.” I am often reminded of Sam Johnson’s suspicion of such people and their moaning and gnashing of teeth when I read the newspapers
Sveinsson Knut, Canute the Great, King of England from 1016, King of Denmark from 1018 and King of Norway from 1030 until he died in 1035, was perhaps the most successful and effective of the early rulers of England.
The younger generation never experienced, and older people tend to forget, how very limited and how very stifled the media was in the last period of President Burnham’s rule.
Last weekend my wife and I went up the great Essequibo to stay at the beautiful river-home of my brother-in-law and his wife.
Consider yourself fortunate if you are right 51% of the time. Listen to the old Galician Jew, settled at last in his old age in a little house in an Israeli kibbutz after a hard lifetime including a brush with the unimaginable horror of Auschwitz.
Right now the temperature of partisan dispute, and tempers on all sides, are rising sharply.
At eighty years of age one must expect to factor attendance at funerals into one’s monthly (weekly?) schedule.
It isn’t an exercise that makes much sense to try and rank poets in a sort of hierarchy of greatness.
I was distressed in conversation with a friend whom I admire for his level head, his learning, his insight, and his wit to hear him speak of his sense of being cramped for intellectual space, of his boredom with what seems to him the narrow opportunities in the country, of his disgust at the eternal back-biting and bitter and belittling rivalries which crowd out any hope of civil discourse.
Many people go to the ends of the earth to find beauty. And certainly beauty can be found at the ends of the earth.
I have been reading a book of great beauty given to me as a Christmas gift by my wife: A River Runs Through It, by Norman Fitzroy Maclean.
For God’s sake, what is going on? A young Pakistani girl is shot in the head for trying to educate herself and others like her.