Categories
Culture Literature

Poem of the week: ‘Sweetness’ by Stephen Dunn

It’s fair to say that this year has not been off to a promising start. Coping with the exhausting strain placed on us by repetitive lockdowns and the insecurity which threatens to shroud our future, fatigue has become a part of the coronavirus zeitgeist. It’s a time where sweetness can feel hard to come by. […]

Categories
Culture Literature

Poem of the Week: ‘Having a Coke with You’

Frank O’Hara’s Having a Coke with You has always been a favourite of mine, but this 1960 love poem has taken on a new, bittersweet quality in 2021 as we move towards our year anniversary of life under a pandemic. Across the four stanzas, O’Hara has inadvertently curated a list of some of the experiences […]

Categories
Culture Literature

Poem of the Week: Wendy Cope’s ‘The Orange’

There is a certain beauty to the everyday. It is a beauty that we often forget; we focus on the extraordinary, as those events are more unique and exciting. In times like these where there is a lack of social and cultural events, it is the everyday which we can (and should) turn to in […]

Categories
Culture Literature

Poem of the Week: manifesting lockdown frustrations in Simon Armitage’s 1997 ‘The Mariner’s Compass’

Simon Armitage’s 1997 poem “The Mariner’s Compass” begins with something many of us are now agonisingly familiar with – ‘living alone’ – and ends the same way many of our hopes did last week: ‘Under the rules, close contact / with another soul means disqualification’. The poem, written a lifetime before lockdowns blotted out our […]

Categories
Culture Literature

Poem of the week: Yearning for the past in D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Piano’

There is no doubt that 4pm November darkness in Edinburgh is accompanied by a strong desire to hibernate under the duvet whilst yearning for the warmth of home, family and Christmas. Over the past few months, I have found myself constantly returning to beloved books and poems, craving the comfort of nostalgic familiarity in words […]

Categories
Culture Literature

Poem of the Week: Gerald Stern’s ‘Box of Cigars’

I am not one for academia. I have always seen it as a means to an end, with the occasional impactful lecture here or there. One of those moments for me was not in university, but my final year of high school where my AP English Literature teacher showed us the poem “Box of Cigars”. […]

Categories
Culture Literature

Poem of the Week: Geoffrey Hill’s ‘The Guardians’

Dealing with generational conflict has never been easy, but I also don’t think it’s ever been this hard; even before the emergence of a virus which aggressively discriminates on age, the atomisation of Western politics around the 2016 EU Referendum and US Presidential election had strong links to age. It’s easy to see how someone […]

Categories
Culture Literature

Poem of the Week: Sarah Williams’ ​’The Old Astronomer to His Pupil’

Exactly one-thousand, eight hundred and sixty-seven days ago, a friend of mine passed away. He was not my ​best friend, my oldest friend, nor the very first person I would run to with a secret. His absence, however, marked my first direct encounter with our arbitrary impermanence, and the overlooked importance of otherwise insignificant moments. […]