A poetymology of spring

Spring is a time of “rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth”; people of faith associate the season with new beginnings, which are represented in celebrations ranging from Easter to Holi, and people of science associate it with new life, as fledgling flora and fauna start to emerge. Personally, I associate spring with optimism.

A Christmas conundrum

I have a confession to make – I’m not sure how I feel about Christmas any more. It’s a great excuse to have a break from work, spend time with loved ones and indulge in festive treats but the older I get, the more I’m starting to question whether I’m just going through the motions of celebrating this cultural holiday. 

A poetymology of grief

Did you know that the famous quote “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” is actually an extract from an epic poem about grief? Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote In Memoriam over the course of 17 years following the sudden death of a close friend and it beautifully describes the experience of grief, from the initial sorrow to the eventual acceptance, in the years after a bereavement.

In praise of “Rang-tan”, a poem about palm oil

It’s that time of year again when retailers debut their Christmas adverts, and we tune in in our thousands to watch them. From sweetly sentimental to comically cheery, there’s something for everyone – but this year, one retailer’s Christmas advert campaigned for change and was subsequently “banned” from TV for being too political.

A poetymology of hope

It’s been said that a person needs three things in order to be happy: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. Since I’ve already blogged about love and work, I think it’s about time I wrote something about hope.

A poetymology of beauty

I recently shared a guest post by Leanne Moden about body image, and it got me thinking about my own feelings on the subject – specifically about how today’s teenagers are exposed to so many more unrealistic images of beauty than I had to deal with when I was growing up in the mid-nineties (i.e. when the internet and mobile phones were in their infancy and social media was just a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye).

My favourite poetry books

It’s often been said that in order to write, you first have to read – to consume the work of others, discover the type of writing you enjoy and develop your own distinctive style. For this reason, I collect poetry books; from petite pamphlets to heavy hardbacks, by poets past and present, I love them all and return to them again and again.