If you think about it carefully it seems impossible to reconcile two things which most people would very much like to believe – one, that they enjoy free will and in some ultimate sense are masters of their fate, and, two, that the God of all creation is omnipotent and has a master plan for us all.
The poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins – glancing and incandescent – is some of the most extraordinary to be found in English.
Seamus Heaney, great Irish poet and Nobel Laureate, died last month aged 74.
It is an honour to have received in the awards for 2012 a Guyana Prize for Literature for my latest book of poetry, The Comfort of All Things, published by the Moray House Trust.
My tutor at Cambridge, Professor Nick Hammond, authority on the history of ancient Macedonia and on the life of Alexander the Great, used to coach me on what he called “exercises of the mind.” He knew I played tennis for the university and he put it to me that just as I trained hard for the tennis so should I stretch to exhaustion the muscles of the mind.
One might have thought that as time passes the heart might harden as arteries harden and the sense of loss grow less acute as the five familiar senses most certainly tend to do.
In the intense, ongoing debate about the Amaila Falls Hydro Electric Project I confess to finding myself mystified.
Famous poems have been written on the deaths of those who have meant more than life itself to the poet.
Life at 80 is as full of adventure and interest as it ever was but the adventures and interests are now mostly sedentary.
Last week Colin Campbell, an old Etonian and quintessentially English, died at his home in Blackhorse Lane, South Mimms, in Hertfordshire at the age of 86.
I do not get the impression that governance in the world is good or that it is getting better.
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.