On Being a Belloc Fanatic


For nearly seventy years I’ve been what I suppose could be called a Belloc-fanatic. The question is – How could that be the case when he was a died-in-the-wool Roman Catholic, of an anti-pacifist, anti-vegetarian persuasion? I think I must have just relegated all that (on his account) to the category ‘unthink’, and (for myself) […]

ZEN & HAIKU


We are often told, particularly by the pioneers of English language haiku (such as D. T. Suzuki, Alan Watts, and the Beats) who mistakenly emphasized Zen Buddhism in Japanese haiku, that haiku should be about the ‘here and now’. This is an extension of the notion that haiku must derive from direct observation and personal […]

IN THE PRISON OF THE MIND


I re-read Mark Epstein’s Thoughts without a Thinker. I made noteswhich gradually formed themselves into a poem. I laced it togetherwith haiku from a forthcoming book of my own; I suppose the result could be said to be a sort of haibun. ❁ in the prison of the mind we’re too busy survivingto confront the […]

IT ALL DEPENDS WHAT YOU MEAN BY…


Sometime in the 1940’s, somehow, I stumbled upon a radio programme called The Brains Trust. I think my mother perhaps used to listen to it. It must have been before 1948 because I was upset by media enthusiasm when, on 12th April 1948, Professor CEM Joad (1891-1953), a key figure in the programme, was convicted […]

THERE IS JUST SO MUCH ‘STUFF’…


In Grateful Memory of David McAndrew The title page of the very old essay that started me off with this Glob, done with a hand-propelled typewriter, ribbon clearly on its way out, which I have scanned and laboriously corrected with the aid of the Optical Character Recognition facility that snuffles away in the maw of […]

ALL THOSE OLD NOTEBOOKS!


In his monumental book Flow, Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi remarks on the importance of keeping a notebook: he writes …having a record of the past can make a great contribution to the quality of life. It forces us from the tyranny of the present and makes it possible for consciousness to revisit former times… In The Literature […]

THE HOUSE OF INTELLECT


I’ve read another book. Judging from the very neat pencil underlinings it looks as though I’ve read it before sometime. Since I often wonder why it has been my habit for sixty-odd years, I was interested to find that the underlinings were very helpful generally but especially during the course of more or less skim-reading […]