The Financial Times and Other Things

At the offices where I work on Saturdays there is always a copy of the Financial Times in the reception, freshly folded, organic salmon-pink.

A few months ago I extracted the Arts section and alongside some decent book reviews was surprised to see a new poem by Owen Sheers. Over the next few weeks, in no particular order, it has published poems by Philip Gross (recent Eliot winner), Christopher Reid (recent Costa winner) and Sinead Morrissey.

I'm not even sure how else I'd get hold of a copy in Brighton, but other than the Guardian it's the only paper I know of that publishes a contemporary poem at the weekends.

On the subject of newspapers, the other day someone at work gave me the Coleridge pamphlet from the recent Guardian series The Romantic Poets. I haven't read Coleridge for years but was reminded of what a terrific poem 'Frost at Midnight' is. Since becoming a parent myself a few years ago, the poem has taken on new meaning. And it's a very modern type of poem, in the personal, narrative/conversational sense.

And talking of late-night vigils, sitting up with my daughter last night I read a few pages of the Buddhist text The Dhammapada and started to think more carefully about how I want to write this blog and what I want to write about.

At the moment I feel sure that I don't want it to be only about self-promotion. I imagine that after a short while readers would tire of this, and in any case I am less concerned about reputation than I once was.

I would like to be able to write in a personal way about things that affect me personally, as well as writing more objectively with a public voice.

Finally, as well as poetry, I would also like to use this blog as a space to talk about Buddhism and Humanistic counselling. These are two other areas that are particularly important to me, and I often find that all three intersect in interesting ways.

I should add that I hope to do all this in a spirit of sharing meaning - a virtual School of Athens, perhaps - rather than didacticism. As such I welcome any response that turns this from a monologue into a dialogue.

How far I'll get with any of it, time will tell. Ultimately, silence may well be the wisest option.


  1. Hi Dan, welcome to the blogosphere. I discovered Other Lives through Matthew Stewart's recommendation on Rogue Strands.


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