Book Review: The Writer’s Pen by K. Morris

My thanks to Audrey Driscoll for reviewing an advanced copy of my forthcoming collection of poems, “The Writer’s Pen and other poems”. Kevin

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

Kevin Morris’s latest collection of poems is now available on pre-order at Amazon UK.

Here is my review of an advance copy…

This latest collection by Kevin Morris consists of 44 pithy reflections on life, death, and passing time. Some of the subjects and themes are the same as in Morris’s earlier collection, My Old Clock I Wind – nature, the seasons, clocks, sex, and mortality. A group of longer poems explores what might be called current affairs.

The tone of these works is darker and more serious than the earlier collection. I recognized no humorous poems, although a wry humor is present in some of them, such as “Libidinous,” in which the poet wonders about the activities of nymphs in a budding wood. “Summer” contains the delightful lines “Now ’tis the fashion / For short frocks / And tiny socks.”

I especially appreciated a sequence of several poems…

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“The Better Man” by Felix Dennis

Felix Dennis

Felix Dennis

A powerful reading by the late Felix Dennis of his poem “The Better Man”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugW6-4rEEok.

Dennis was what used to be (and perhaps still is refered to) as a self made man. Being born into a humble background he made his money becoming a highly successful businessman. Besides business and poetry, Dennis was also a planter of trees and a very intriguing character. I encourage you to read more of his poems, many of which can be found online (https://www.poetryarchive.org/poet/felix-dennis, http://www.felixdennis.com/Poet/351/67DAYSOFDENNIS).

Kevin

Disconnect- Michael Erickson

Go Dog Go Café

Poplar6

flashing lights, slamming doors, honking, yelling, saws running, drills cracking concrete, exhaust thrumming from tailpipes, people jostling against one another, spaces filled with things, towering buildings, phones ringing, beeping notifications, vibrating messages, words tumbling from mouths speakers microphones, obligations that pull, responsibilities that push, attention divided, regrets made, promises kept, secrets confided, stress shared, overwhelming tasks, reminders that bind

They end here.

Wash these cobwebs from my body with water touched by light.

Plant my feet in rich dark earth.

Let me grow where the power lines end and the unending world begins.


Michael is a husband, father, writer, poet, and aspiring author. He finds time to scribble down his thoughts in the dead of night, between ghosts and night owls. If you’d like to read more of his poetry follow the link here. Or to visit his full blog, ‘The Ink Owl’ click here.

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A podcast of my interview on The World Poetry Reading Series is now available

I am pleased to announce that my interview on Vancouver Co-op Radio’s The World Poetry Reading Series is now available, as a podcast and can be found by following this link, http://worldpoetry.ca/?p=13500.

During my interview I read from my pamphlet, “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems”, which is available, in the Amazon Kindle store for preorder, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD1LBMV/.

I would like to thank Ariadne Sawyer of The World Poetry Reading Series for her kindness in featuring me and my poetry.

Kevin

Indoctrination?

Yesterday evening, I got into a vigorous debate with an acquaintance regarding the wearing of the full Islamic face veil and the Burka. The discussion reminded me of this post, https://newauthoronline.com/2018/06/03/leave-women-free-to-dress-as-they-please/, in which I defend the right of women to wear the clothing of their choosing.

My acquaintance argued that while many Muslim women may not be “forced” to don the full face veil or the Burka, that they are “indoctrinated” into wearing these garments. Consequently, he maintained that the solution was to prohibit the wearing of either the full face veil or the Burka in public in the United Kingdom.

The argument of my acquaintance reminded me of that notion so beloved of Marxists (namely “false consciousness”, where a person genuinely believes that a thing which is, obviously against their best interests is, in point of fact very much to their advantage). Marxists use such arguments to denounce the “false consciousness” of workers who vote for non-Marxist parties and who (to varying degrees) support the free market economy. The Marxist notion of “false consciousness” denies individual agency. In effect (according to the Marxist) large sections of the “proletariat” are blind to their own interests and must be brought to a full understanding of the “class struggle” by the enlightened Communist/Marxist party.

Likewise my acquaintance believes that those Muslim women who wear either the full Islamic veil or the Burka are suffering from “false consciousness” (although he uses the word “indoctrination”) and must be compelled, by law to live as free non-wearers of either garb. If they refuse to do so then they should be fined or imprisoned.

My acquaintance contends that from early girlhood those who use the full face veil or the Burka have been “indoctrinated” by their families/the Muslim community to believe that by so doing they are complying with the teachings of the Prophet/Islam, and that to do otherwise than don these coverings would be unislamic.

It is certainly true that upbringing exerts a powerful influence on individuals. For example people who live in households where their parents vote for a particular political party are, on average more likely to support that party at the ballot box when they reach voting age. However many people disagree with the politics of their parents and espouse different opinions/vote differently on reaching the age of majority. Again, through education people are exposed to divergent political views to those espoused by their families. The UK is a free society where information is freely available (no one is exposed to only one point of view).

As with the above example, so also with the matter of Muslim dress. Young women may be strongly encouraged to wear the full face veil or the Burka. They will, however be exposed to girls, the overwhelming majority of whom, will not wear such garments and through such exposure decide that the Burka or the full face veil (or, indeed any kind of veil) is not right for them. To deny that this happens is to deny that we, as humans possess individual autonomy which (quite patently) we do.

Individual autonomy cuts both ways. I know of a number of Muslim women who have (against the wishes of their parents) chosen to adopt the full face veil. Just who is “indoctrinating” these ladies? The answer provided by my acquaintance is that young, impressionable girls read material online which encourages them to adopt a view of Islam in which the full face veil or the Burka is seen as being obligatory. This can (and does) happen. This is not (in my view) sufficient reason for going down the road of France, Denmark and some other European countries and banning the full face veil or Burka. The answer lies in educating both girls (and boys) from a young age in the importance of self-respect and the rights of the individual. If after having gained an understanding of such matters a young woman freely chooses to don the Burka or the full face veil that is a matter for her and her alone.

My acquaintance falls into the trap of many liberals in believing that because he can not (as a reasonable person) understand why an individual would adopt a particular course of action/dress in a particular manner, anyone who goes against his conception of “the good” must, of necessity be “indoctrinated” suffering from “false consciousness” (the latter term was not used by my acquaintence but, nonetheless I feel that “indoctrination” does, in this instance equate to the Marxist notion of “false consciousness”).

To maintain that all (or the majority) of Muslim women (in the UK) who wear either the full face veil or the Burka, are “indoctrinated” strikes me as the height of arrogance. How can one possibly look into the mind of another and judge their motivation in such matters? The answer is that one can not. We should (as liberals in the true sense of the word) take at face value statements by women who say “we freely choose to dress in such and such a manner” unless there exists evidence that they are being forced so to do.

Apart from the compelling arguments in favour of individual freedom there is the little matter of police resources. Is it really a productive use of police manpower to go around arresting women who choose to wear the full face veil or Burka? I for one would rather the police concentrated on preventing crime against person and property than in persecuting people who dress in a manner not approved of by the state/society.

Ultimately if one defends the right of a lady to wear a revealing dress (which I most emphatically do) then one must, in all logic defend with equal vigour the right of ladies to cover their faces and other parts of their bodies (unless they are security reasons or another good cause for them to show their face, for example at an airport security desk).

Kevin

Raining

As a long, hot summer slowly draws to its close in the UK, we have, thankfully (at long last) been experiencing bouts of rain. On the way home from the pub yesterday evening my guide dog Trigger and I got drenched to the skin in the wet stuff and (in accordance with the great law of sod) the rain virtually ceased as we reached my front door!

Despite my drenching, I am a lover of the rain. My recent soaking reminded me of my poem “Raining” which can be found here, https://newauthoronline.com/2015/10/28/raining/.