Tag Archives: book review

Feedback on my collection of poems, “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems”

I was delighted to receive the below feedback for my collection of poems, “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems”, from Alex Lee, who has produced the audio version of the book, (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD1LBMV/),

“We have just sent you an MP3 file of the fully produced poems for your approval. They are wonderful poems and Mark, not normally a fan of poetry loved them as he was editing and mastering the tracks, as do I. You have a great gift”.

(The audio edition of “The Writer’s Pen” will, I hope be available in November 2018. For the Kindle edition please follow the above link).

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“How to Be a Conservative”, by Roger Scruton – book Review

“How to Be a Conservative”, by Roger Scruton, is as the title suggests a defense of Conservatism.

Growing up in a working class household with a father who was deeply committed to Socialism, Scruton nonetheless discovered in his father a conservatism (of the non-political variety), for Scruton’s father was a lover of the English countryside and was possessed of a strong desire to preserve ancient buildings and the traditions of his locality.

While Scruton is a Conservative of the political kind, anyone reading “How to Be a Conservative” with a view to obtaining a detailed programme/manifesto will find instead a thoughtful defense of the philosophy of Conservatism in its broadest sense, rather than a list of proposals regarding how Conservative governments should operate. In passing Scruton does advocate choice in education via such methods as providing parents with vouchers in order to enhance choice in schooling. He also writes in support of welfare reform. However, as already stated “How to Be a Conservative” is not a manifesto.

So what is Scruton’s view of Conservatism?
Scruton argues that Socialism is a top down philosophy whereas Conservatism flows from the natural instincts of the people. People form into the “little platoons” defended by the Conservative philosopher Edmund Burke. Such “platoons” include the family, sports clubs and local charities through which people find meaning in common cause with others. For Scruton we are individuals and he criticises Socialists for what he perceives as their disregard for this self-evident fact. However the author is also critical of what he refers to as “homo economicus” (the tendency to view human activity in purely economic terms). So while Scruton defends private property and the market economy, he does so only insofar as they do (in his view) promote human flourishing. For example a good portion of the book is devoted to defending “high culture” which should not, in Scruton’s view be left to the visicitudes of the market. There is, for Scruton such a thing as “objectively” noble/good in the field of culture and there are things which constitute trash.

While Scruton defends aspects of the late Lady Thatcher’s legacy, he is critical of the obsession of many Thatcherites with economics pointing out that, in the end it is through social attachments (“the little platoons” that we flourish, not through economics.

During the existence of the former Eastern (Communist) Block, Scruton visited Czechoslavakia and met with disidents. He was arrested and expelled. His experiences behind “the Iron Curtain” help to explain Scruton’s Conservatism. In Czechoslovakia Burke’s “little platoons” had been abolished or absorbed into the state, there being no independent boy scouts or other independent institutions promoting human flourishing. Given the author’s experiences and the suffering he observed amongst disidents, one can understand why he adopts the position he does of defending those “little platoons”.

While Scruton shares the Classical Liberals view that the individual and private property should be protected from the encroachments of the state, he deplores “human rights” arguments seeing in them a potentially slippery slope leading to the lessening of human freedom. For example he mentions the decision of the courts to allow travellers to occupy a village green on the grounds that they (the traveling community) had a “right” to live somewhere. The courts did not take into account the concrete rights of the local property owners to enjoy the facilities of the village free from unwelcome intrusions. So, for Scruton there is a right to private property and to government welfare (although the latter is less than that supported by those on the left of the political spectrum).

The defense of existing institutions is, of course a cause dear to the Conservative’s heart. For Scruton (as for all true Conservatives) institutions reflect the collective history of the country and this fact leads the person of a conservative disposition to value them on account of this. For instance many people no longer attend church on a regular basis, yet the Christian ethos still plays an important role in the country and many people who would not regard themselves as religious are, nonetheless imbued with its ethos. We see the spires of churches and are glad they are there for they represent a part of who we are as a country. While things change the Conservative should attempt to shore up what is left and protect our culture from cultural relativism.

There is much in “How to Be a Conservative” with which Conservatives of all hues will agree. The defense of “the little platoons” and the scepticism regarding human nature are common to all true Conservatives. However Scruton’s support for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union is an issue which has split the Conservative Party, while others within the Conservative fold are (unlike Scruton) less inclined to advocate “family values”. While Scruton does not use the term “family values” he is strongly supportive of the traditional (hetrosexual) family, while other Conservatives hold that the state has no business in telling consenting adults how they should conduct their sex lives.

Finally people who are not political Conservatives will, I think still nonetheless find aspects of Scruton’s arguments persuasive, for instance his love of the English countryside and his advocacy of the need to protect and preserve historic buildings. For anyone wishing to understand traditional Conservatism I recommend this book.

“How to Be a Conservative”,, by Roger Scruton, https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/How-to-Be-a-Conservative-Audiobook/B00NGVR6NO

A review of my collection of poems, “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems”

I was pleased to receive the below review of my collection of poems, “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems”:

“Having read previous poetry collections by the author, I was eager to read this one. I was not disappointed. This is a great collection of thought-provoking poems. “Indefinable” is a particular favourite of mine from this collection”.

For the above review please visit, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2506614343?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1.

You can find “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems here, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD1LBMV/

An interview with poet K Morris and a review of “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems”

My thanks to Robbie Cheadle for interviewing me for her blog, and for writing a review of my collection of poems, “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems”.

To read my interview with Robbie, together with her review of “The Writer’s Pen” please follow this link, https://wp.me/p7Uxin-3hc

“My Old Clock I Wind And Other Poems” By K Morris

On Monday 9 July, I ran into an acquaintance. After exchanging the usual pleasantries, he remarked on how much he had enjoyed reading my collection of poems, “My Old Clock I Wind and Other Poems”. It is a great feeling to receive a compliment, particularly when it is unsolicited. While the gentleman in question has not (to my knowledge) written a review, “My Old Clock” has received several reviews, including the below, from Audrey Driscoll:

“The first poem in this collection of 74 contains the theme that pervades the entire work – the relentless passage of time. Morris’s verses are products of reflection and mature thought, expressing both resignation and a zest for life.

This poet is not fighting advancing age and eventual death, but lives with an intense awareness of the temporary nature of human lives and preoccupations. “Passing By,” for example, sums this up perfectly in only three lines.

The fleetingness of beauty and attraction are pictured in “Chiffon” and “Dark and Light.” As sadness frequently follows delight / Mourn not, for there can be no dark without the light. The poet’s mixed feelings about his relationships with others are exemplified by “Shall I Sit Out This Dance?” whose last five lines are especially poignant. “What Is A Double Bed?” further explores love, joy, and pain.

Humour is not absent from the collection. “Howling At the Moon,” “Count Dracula Went Out To Dine,” and “It’s Raining Out There,” along with a group of limericks, celebrate the absurdities and quirky angles of life.

A certain amount of social commentary appears in “Crack” and “Girls in Unsuitable Shoes,” which has a touch of wry brilliance.

Climate change is acknowledged by the short poem “Melting Ice.” Of the poems that question progress and technology, perhaps the finest is “Man’s Destiny,” which contrasts the poet’s enjoyment of life’s small pleasures with grandiose aspirations and predictions.

Most of the poems feature pairs of rhyming lines – not rhyming couplets, exactly, because the lines often differ in length and metre. The effect is one of ticking, bringing to mind the clock of the title. In densely packed sequences of short lines, this rhyme pattern can become a bit tedious. “Understanding,” which features a more complex rhyme scheme, is a notable departure. Morris’s poems are distillations of thoughtful life experience, and thus best savoured slowly, like good wine.

Readers will find something here to match any mood, to celebrate life or commiserate with sorrow”.
(For the above review please visit, https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/R1S1VEBI73BGP1/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0735JBVBG.

You can find “My Old Clock I Wind” in the Amazon Kindle store here, http://amzn.eu/gelHFDE. It is also available from Moyhill Publishing and can be found here, http://moyhill.com/clock/).

A Review Of My Collection Of Poetry “My Old Clock I Wind”

I was pleased to receive the following review of “My Old Clock I Wind” (audio download from Audible):

“I originally read this as an eBook, and wrote the following review for it:

quote;This is another excellent collection of poems by this author. Some are amusing, like the poem “Howling At The Moon” (one of my favourites of this collection) while others are extremely thought-provoking, like “Evening Walk” (another favourite of mine from this collection). In other words, this collection is a pleasant read, filled with poems which will have you either chuckling in amusement, or lost in musings on topics most can relate to even if they haven’t spent much time considering them before.unquote;

My review still stands, though I’d like to add that it was nice to get to listen to the poems being read out. The narrator did a good job”.

(For the above review please visit https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Arts-Entertainment/My-Old-Clock-I-Wind-and-Other-Poems-Audiobook/B077VYT3X6#customer-reviews. To purchase “My Old Clock” please visit https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Arts-Entertainment/My-Old-Clock-I-Wind-and-Other-Poems-Audiobook/B077VYT3X6).

“My Old Clock I Wind” is also available in ebook and paperback from Moyhill Publishing http://moyhill.com/clock/, and (ebook and audio download) from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0735JBVBG.

It is also available in braille from the Royal National Institute of Blind People, quoting order number 25870603. You can call RNIB on 0303 123 9999 or go to http://shop.rnib.org.uk/. .

A Review Of My Collection Of Poetry, “My Old Clock I Wind”

On checking Goodreads today, I was delighted to come across the below review of my collection of poetry, “My Old Clock I Wind”:

“A wonderful collection of poems by the talented Kevin Morris all of which have the underlying theme of life and time passing.

Three of my favourite poems from this collection are as follows:

Hatters and hares – a very clever poem based on Alice’s experience of having tea with the March Hare and the Mad Hatter in the classic story Alice in Wonderland.
The poem makes the point that everything in our technology based word is not as it seems and that the progress we think we see is deceptive;
What is a double bed? – this extraordinary poem also makes the point that life is temporary and illustrates how we need to grasp it and make the most of
life’s moments before we pass on; and
Count Dracula Went Out to Dine – this poem appealed to my dark sense of humour and I found the depiction of Count Dracula out for a meal and his interaction
with the staff in the restaurant very interesting and amusing.

If you like intriguing and well written poetry, then this is the book for you”.

For the above review please go to https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2219087573?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1. My thanks to the reviewer, Robbie Cheadle for taking the time to read and review my book.

My Old Clock I Wind” is available in the Amazon Kindle store:
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0735JBVBG
Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0735JBVBG.
You can also find “My Old Clock”, in audio format at Audible.
It is also available (print and ebook) from Moyhill Publishing http://moyhill.com/clock/