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Willy Loman, Mary Oliver and the real story of joy

I've been collecting notes to do an essay on the theme of suffering in art. For it, I had the scene of Jesus' entombment painted by that fastidious German master of the grotesque, Matthias Grunewald. I had Frida Kahlo's self-portrait as a leaping stag, pierced by a dozen arrows....

Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longam

 Vitae Summa Brevis Spem Nos Vetat Incohare Longam (The brief sum of life forbids us the hope of enduring long - Horace)They are not long, the weeping and the laughter, Love and desire and hate: I think they have no portion in us after We pass the gate. They are...

Reading Auden’s “The Fall of Rome”

This poem, it is said, was written when Auden was asked by his friend, Cyril Connolly, to pen a poem that would make him weep. Well, to be honest, it didn't make me weep, but it is still pretty fucking fantastic. What about you? Have a read:   The Fall...

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What is love

What is love but a fever? The same unpleasant damp hotness, the same throat-scratching wind, the same way it devours first then leaves you paler, thinner, then, with unconvincing memories of having suffered once your color returns, when you do want to roast chickens and go Christmas shopping in...