Category Archives: books

words that made us go ‘ah, yes’

Almost written

How is it that Anne Enright can write an essay about not writing, and make it sound like the most brilliant thing ever? I sit around not writing all day and I wouldn’t be able to come up with anything half as decent as this if I actually sat down and, well, wrote.

You will notice that I haven’t mentioned what either of these books is about. That is because I know you will steal them from me immediately. These are really good ideas. You are not having them.

Read the whole thing.


John Hegley

John HegleyThe Guardian calls him “quintessentially English”, but that shouldn’t turn you off from John Hegley just yet. He writes very endearing, funny poems about dogs, potatoes and other things that generally make you happy. I first found out about him through The Guardian Unlimited Books podcast, where he read this:

In the embrace of my glasses

I openly accept my vulnerability

And affirm my acceptance of outside help.

As well as providing open acknowledgement

Of the imperfection in my eyesight,

My glasses are a symbolic celebration

Of the wider imperfection

That is the human condition.

In contrast, contact lenses are a hiding of the faults.

They pretend the self-sufficiency of the individual

And minister onto the cult of stultifying normality.

They are that which should be cast out of your vision.

They are a denial of the self.

They are a denial of the other.

They are a betrayal of humanity.

Link time: You can read 22 more poems here, and listen to him perform some more poems here. (As far as I can see none of the poems are duplicated on the two sites.) You can also listen here to the Guardian interview that I mentioned above, in which he also turns a daily news story  about the UK education system into a song and sings a poem about two gay bus drivers. That should brighten up your Monday somewhat, I hope!