In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle enjoys some good bad poetry courtesy of The Joy of Bad Verse
I’ve long been a fan of Nicholas Parsons. No, not that one – although who could fail to appreciate the sharp wit of the Just a Minute host? – but Nicholas T. Parsons, the author of one of the best books of literary trivia out there (The Book of Literary Lists), an enjoyable history of the guidebook (Worth the Detour: A History of the Guidebook), and what I’d consider his Magnificent Octopus, The Joy of Bad Verse. This book was published in 1988, so you can consider this ‘review’ a sort of 30-year retrospective. It’s well worth tracking down.
Parsons’ The Joy of Bad Verse is a scholarly and readable study of the history of ‘bad verse’ down the age. What…
Ruth Ellis was the last woman to be hanged here in the United Kingdom. She shot her lover who had been physically abusive towards her. (During the trial Ellis mentioned how he had punched her in the stomach which may well have contributed to the loss of the baby she was carrying).
I know, I know … finding the money to support authors by buying their books is not always easy. I have a hard time in that department myself.
However, there are many ways that Readers can help Authors of books they’ve already read and enjoyed. These ideas are every bit as valuable to Authors as actual sales can be – and they will cost you absolutely nothing to do. They just require an investment of your TIME, and your ENTHUSIASM to make things happen. Never underestimate what a READER of books can accomplish when they choose to champion a particular book or an Author.
So, here you go! 10 ways you can invest in Authors and Books without spending any money …
1. Borrow and read books from the library. Rate those books on the library’s system. Request that the library purchase other books by…
Are you still writing? I have lost count of the number of occasions on which this question has been asked of me.
My response to anyone posing the above question is always an emphatic “yes”. For me writing is an integral part of who I am. It constitutes self-expression. I could no more give up composing poetry than I could abandon an old and dear friend. At times friends can be irritating. We disagree and even argue, but true friendship survives such disagreements. Likewise, with my writing I sometimes find myself becoming frustrated. I swear at my computer (I never swear at my friends I must hasten to add)! – and close Microsoft Word in disgust. However while I do abandon specific poems I can never envisage giving up my writing.
Writing is, for me, an itch that must be scratched. While on my way into the office or walking in beautiful places, the germ of a poem often develops in my brain. I feel restless until I’m able to get it down on virtual paper (all my writing takes place on my laptops).
Writing is both pleasure and pain. The frustration of sitting at a computer for hours, only to throw away what I have been working on, is balanced by the pleasure of producing a poem which is (in my opinion) worthy of seeing the light of day via this blog and, perhaps also (ultimately) to find itself within the leaves of a book.
So when people ask “are you still writing?” I shall continue to answer with an emphatic “yes”.