I first became interested in W.H. Davies (1871-1940), the author of The Autobiography of a Supertramp, when I was writing a blog entry on his poem which begins, “What is this life if, full of care,we have no time to stand and stare?”. You can read this most relaxed of poems and the blog entry here.
While scratching around to find some information about the man behind the poem, I was interested enough by what I read of his personality and life to want to read his autobiography. Even the title of it sounds quite modern and inviting to a twenty-first century reader, despite being written in the very early years of the twentieth century. Interestingly, much of the book also reads like something written more recently.
Last week it was the twentieth anniversary of the day my dad died: inevitably a time for looking back, but also for pondering on what’s happened between then and now. So much has gone on in the family – the kids have grown up and married; a grandchild has been born – but it also struck me just how much in my daily life involves things Dad would know nothing about. Here are just a few:
Now the better weather’s here, there should hopefully be some time for at least most of us to take a break and relax a little. As spring is gathering momentum, it’s a good time to get outdoors and – well – do nothing. Just have a look and enjoy the natural world around you.
Technically, this poem by W.H. Davies may not be the greatest, but I’ve always appreciated the sentiment expressed in it and the poem is certainly eminently memorable and quotable. Over the years, the opening two lines have often popped into my head at times when I know I need to slow down and get some perspective in my busy life.
With all the interest in World War One at the moment, I thought it was an opportune moment to review some of the great writing about this war. Although consulting factual sources and documentaries will give us the facts, it is reading well-written personal accounts, novels and poetry which helps us see into the hearts and minds of those who had first-hand experience of this terrible conflict. Continue reading
It’s a funny thing, but over the last year I’ve read the autobiographies of three comedians -Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Jo Brand – and they’re not as funny as all that. At least, not as funny as all these three women are on the screen. Maybe comedians get to a stage when they’re fed up with being funny and want an opportunity to take themselves – and for others to take them – seriously.