Good poetry holds its truth and relevance throughout the ages. It may retail the facts and thinking of its own era, but part if it will always express what is eternally true and recognizable.
In Guyana, there is a pervasive anxiety about the state of things in general which currently focuses on the seemingly unstoppable spread of criminal activity and violent crime in society.
The end of the world as some of us know and love it is here.
The burden of debt is overwhelming country after country. Greece is in the headlines now but there are scores of others teetering on the precipice.
There is an entry in my father’s diary which moved me deeply when I read it after he died.
In Guyana getting a good education is defined as getting good exam results.
We are fortunate in Guyana that even in the worst times of party paramountcy the full ruthlessness of power was never exercised wholesale.
“The writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed – love and honour and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.” -William Faulkner: Nobel Prize Speech, 1950 Once, immersed in the hectic daily round of mostly trivial happenings, hurrahs and harassments which make up life.
Isaiah Berlin, who died a few years ago at the age of 89, was in my view the most distinguished political philosopher and historian of ideas of the 20th century.
There are, you may be surprised to read this Sunday, more important things than constitutions, the results of elections, the making and unmaking of presidents and the first steps, and missteps, of a brand new government.
The new government is going to need to plan wisely and execute efficiently, but of the two I think the actual doing is where the nation has lately been falling way short and is where a huge improvement is essential.
The recent wave of lethal crime will have heightened the sense of life’s fragility in all of us.
We have emerged from a very fraught period. The 2015 election was beautifully run until the time came to convey the results to a tensely waiting world.
An excellent thing about America is that no one dissects America better than Americans.
We will be completely justified in trusting the outcome of this election. A month ago I wrote a column pointing out that in a volatile, vitriolic and divisive campaign the nation was blessed in having a well run, unmanipulatable electoral process in which we could all depend to produce a free, fair and accurate result.
I am reissuing the personal manifesto I have issued in previous general election campaigns and will no doubt continue to issue until time runs out on me.
When I was a schoolboy we had a games-master named Mr. Wilkinson who had served the College for all eternity.
There is nothing more valuable in man than an ability to write well.
I urge all those who can afford it – many thousands of you if you consult your heart first and only then your bank book – to make a gift of a new life for a destitute or homeless Guyanese child.
I have written often enough, and fervently believe, that cricket is an important element in our lives binding us closely together as West Indian nation – though I have to admit that recent West Indies cricket has displayed hardly any resemblance at all in the skill, camaraderie, spirit, pride and commitment to the game which once, win or lose, filled me with joyful anticipation, exhilaration and a sense of heightened patriotism.
When one thinks about it, the concept of ‘government’ is a strange one for it assumes as its fundamental premise that certain men and women – human beings like you and me – can and should be allowed to take upon themselves the right to direct the rest of us what to do, presumably for our own good.
I note with much pleasure that Viv Richards has been named by a very distinguished panel of 50 outstanding cricketers and writers about the game as the greatest ODI player of all time.
Are women, here at home and in our larger home, the West Indies, quietly but definitely taking over?
Politically, Guyana is not so much a divided as a completely sundered country from end to end and from year to year it seems for evermore.
A friend asked me how important a part poetry plays in my life.