It is extremely important that you pay attention to what today’s column says if you wish to live a longer, healthier, more alert and happier life.
I cannot believe that the powers that be intend to persist in their policy of drastically reducing a share of publicly owned advertisements to Stabroek News – as the Editor-in-Chief states and the statistics show is happening.
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.
A day is dulled and dimmed if it passes and I do not pick up a book of poems in my library, browse in some anthology, find a new poem in the latest issue of Poetry Review or The New Yorker or some other magazine or at least glance at some old favourite lines from Hopkins, Walcott, Yeats, Carter or a score of other supreme masters of the art and craft of making poems.
As the political situation grows more fraught with intolerance I invoke the name of Voltaire.
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.
In these sad, dislocated times let us dwell a while on what is permanently important in the nation.
Nothing is more dangerous than the over-mighty State. A State that gathers all powers to itself drains initiative away from where it does most good – at the local level, at the level of the small group, the family, the individual.
In a recent discussion with friends on great tennis players the strange case of Bjorn Borg came up.
The original Treaty of Chaguaramas which established CARICOM in 1973 carefully provided no machinery for exercising central powers of implementation.
Not very long ago, looking into the future, it would have been easy to prophesy for 2020 drug-related crime spreading an indelible stain over more and more of the world, trouble in Kashmir, unrelenting warfare between Israel and Palestine and then, nearer home, CARICOM still struggling to achieve the most elementary kinds of unity and, actually at home, Guyana riven to the soul by race division.
Thirty years ago, I wrote a poem in honour of the Brazilian labour leader and environmentalist Chico Mendes, who was assassinated because of his campaign to preserve the Amazonian rainforest.
I hear the chorus: “poetry is boring”, “poetry is impossible to understand”, “poetry is irrelevant,” “poetry has no place in this computer age,” “poetry is for academics.” Many times I have heard those who have read a little quote Auden’s “Poetry makes nothing happen” – great Auden whose poetry will continue to transfix and transform the imagination of man for as long as anyone can think or feel.
I remember a very long time ago, in the era of Prime Minister—not even then President—L.F.S.
Guyana is in the midst of a bitter and divisive struggle.
“You gave me gifts, God-Enchanter. I give you thanks for good and ill.
Religions have blood-soaked histories that justify the scorn which hard-core rationalists like Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, pour on them.
Seamus Heaney, the great Irish poet, whose marvelous collection of essays, “The Redress of Poetry,” I like to re-read, writes that W.H.
Every now and then, I travel up the Essequibo River to spend weekends in a small house set on the bank in a clearing of white sand cut from the jungle.
This business of being old is bothering me. Yes, there are aches and fragilities and coughs and creaks and increasing physical ineptitude of all kinds.