"Autobiographies of great nations are written in three manuscripts – a book of deeds, a book of words, and a book of art.
Of the three, I would choose the latter as truest testimony." - Sir Kenneth Smith, Great Civilisations

"I must write each day without fail, not so much for the success of the work, as in order not to get out of my routine." - Leo Tolstoy

I have never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think the pleasures of not writing are so
great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again. - John Updike

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour
is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it." - J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

John LeCarre - Interviews and Videos

John Le Carre: 'A Delicate Truth is one of the old master's late period.' Photograph: David Levenson/Getty Images

A Delicate Truth review
- in a great Le Carré, the state has lost its way ...

"The story of two flawed-but-good men in a world of
government corruption and cock-up – pure pleasure.'"

The Observer

John Le Carré is one of a handful of writers whose every book I buy. And I always read them. Even better, I sometimes go on flights or car journeys with his audiobooks – and treat myself to Le Carré reading them to me. (Can't recommend this highly enough, by the way.) So I can tell you with some surety that A Delicate Truth is one of the best of what we must now call the old master's late period.

  1. A Delicate Truth
  2. by John le Carré
  1. Tell us what you think:Star-rate and review this book
The novel tells two intertwined stories. First, that of Sir Kit Probyn, a retired diplomat, who is asked to oversee what he understands to be a counter-terrorism operation on the coast of Gibraltar – codenamed Wildfire. This goes wrong in ways Probyn does not realise. Second, there is the story of Toby Bell, a young private secretary to the bullish end-of-days New Labour defence minister, Fergus Quinn, who ordered the operation.
Probyn and Bell are flawed-but-good men in a world of governmental corruption, cynicism, cover- and cock-up - classic le Carré protagonists, therefore. Together, they must get to the bottom of what really happened that night on the Rock and bring the iniquity and human cost to the attention of … well, the media. Why? Because, in late Le Carré, it is the state itself that has lost its way. And there's a rather beautiful last line that encapsulates this thesis.
Le Carré is interesting because he divides opinion. There are those who believe he will be read for centuries to come, the most distinctive chronicler of what he perceives as Britain's decline – moral, civic and military. And there are other, more exacting readers, who find his many formal skills as a writer partly undermined by a weakness for underlying clichés of characterisation and his somewhat pedestrian late-period imaginings of "good" and "bad". These complaints, in this case, are exemplified by the character of Mrs Spencer Hardy, an ageing pterodactyl of a Republican party benefactor (complete with "bejewelled claws" and a "vampish cry") who is funding Ethical Outcomes, the private firm behind Wildfire, whose lack of ethics are, of course, plangently obvious.
Is it possible to think both positions are true? In many ways late Le Carré remains a pre-eminent English writer – mostly for his consummate prose-creation of atmosphere. In other regards, he is less than scrupulous or inventive. None of which detracts from that pure reading pleasure of sitting down with him again.

A Delicate Truth: - John Le Carré: - Penguin: - Booktrailer

John LeCarre Discusses the Film
"The Spy Who Came in from the Cold"

John LeCarre Interview: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Where Alex Lemas Came From

George Smiley Tribute

Interview: Gary Oldman on George Smiley's Being

Smiley's People Clip

John LeCarre About Smiley's People
Part 1/2

John LeCarre About Smiley's People
Part 2/2

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - The Secret Centre
(Documentary on John LeCarre)
Part 1/4

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - The Secret Centre
(Documentary on John LeCarre)
Part 2/4

link here -

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - The Secret Centre
(Documentary on John LeCarre)
Part 3/4

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - The Secret Centre
(Documentary on John LeCarre)
Part 4/4

John LeCarre Discusses Democracy

Star Wars Personality Quiz, Maps, Lego Troopers, and Really Bad Poetry

Which "Star Wars" Character Are You?

If you get Jar Jar, you lose.

Quiz Link here
Quiz Questions here



Mini Bites

Resident Evil

Lego Troopers



A Really Bad Star Wars Poem

My light saber flashed and sliced [through] the air
as my opponent just watched with a frightened stare.

I flipped with ease to show him my skill
the padawans watching were delighted and thrilled!

The Sith tried to strike and finish this fight
but my speed with a saber was quicker than light!

The padawans still watching were enjoying this show
I looked at my opponent and finished him with 3 blows!

The padawans cheered and ran to my side
but I saw something coming so I told them to hide.

I waited for the creature to show me his face!
but it was nothing but a clone who [was] falling from space.

And there is my story of my Star Wars fight
I hoped [when] you [read it] that it was something you liked!

Another Really Bad Star Wars Poem

This is a tale about Luke and the force,
Things for him got a little bit worse.

His family was killed by Storm troopers mean,
So he split from the planet of Tatooine.

A Jedi master named Obiwan,
Showed him how to be a man.

He save the princess [and] joined the alliance,
And took on the Death Star with defiance.

And old Darth Vader got slapped in the face 
As his ship went spinning through the depths of space.

- Expert Credo

Other Star Wars Poetry Links

Star Wars: Original Trilogy - Epic Retrospective

Star Wars: Prelogy - Epic Retrospective

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Poems

Always love you - Tori Kelly
(for my mom)

Tribute to Mother
by John Greenleaf Whittier

A picture memory brings to me;
I look across the years and see
Myself beside my mother's knee.
I feel her gentle hand restrain
My selfish moods, and know again
A child's blind sense of wrong and pain.
But wiser now,
a man gray grown,
My childhood's needs are better known.
My mother's chastening love I own.

Poem #790
by Emily Dickinson

Nature — the Gentlest Mother is,
Impatient of no Child —
The feeblest — or the waywardest —
Her Admonition mild —

In Forest — and the Hill —
By Traveller — be heard —
Restraining Rampant Squirrel —
Or too impetuous Bird —

How fair Her Conversation —
A Summer Afternoon —
Her Household — Her Assembly —
And when the Sun go down —

Her Voice among the Aisles
Incite the timid prayer
Of the minutest Cricket —
The most unworthy Flower —

When all the Children sleep —
She turns as long away
As will suffice to light Her lamps —
Then bending from the Sky —

With infinite Affection —
And infiniter Care —
Her Golden finger on Her lip —
Wills Silence — Everywhere —

Mother o’ Mine
by Rudyard Kipling (1891)
(Kipling's dedication in his book, "The Light That Failed")

If I were hanged on the highest hill,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine
I know whose love would follow me still,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

If I were drowned in the deepest sea,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine
I know whose tears would come down to me,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

If I were damned of body and soul,
I know whose prayers would make me whole,
Mother o’ mine, 0 mother o’ mine!

To My Mother
by Christina Rossetti (1842)
(written at age 11)

To-day’s your natal day,
Sweet flowers I bring;
Mother, accept, I pray,
My offering.

And may you happy live,
And long us bless;
Receiving as you give
Great happiness.

Happy Mothers Day - Song for Mothers
"Because you loved me ," by Celine Dion

My Mother!
by Sami Yusuf (youtube link)
(Awakening, 2005)

Blessed is your face,
Blessed is your name,
My beloved.
Blessed is your smile,
Which makes my soul want to fly,
My beloved.
All the nights and all the times that you cared for me,
But I never realised it and now it's too late,
Forgive me.

Now I'm alone filled with so much shame,
For all the years I caused you pain,
If only I could sleep in your arms again,
Mother I'm lost without you.
You were the sun that brightened my day,
Now who's going to wipe my tears away,
If only I knew what I know today,
Mother I'm lost without you.

How I long to see you, O mother,
In my heart, in my dreams,
You are always with me mother.
You went and left me,
O light of my eyes,
O comfort of my nights,
You went and left me.

Who, other than you, will embrace me?
Who, other than you, will cover me?
Who, other than you, will guard over me?
Your pardon mother... Forgive me.

Sonnets are full of love
by Christina Rossetti
(a dedicatory sonnet from Rossett's fourth collection,
"A Pageant and Other Poems," 1881)

Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome
Has many sonnets: so here now shall be
One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me
To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home,
To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee
I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome;
Whose service is my special dignity,
And she my loadstar while I go and come
And so because you love me, and because
I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath
Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honored name:
In you not fourscore years can dim the flame
Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws
Of time and change and mortal life and death.

The Little Boy Found
by William Blake (from Songs of Innocence, 1791)

The little boy lost in the lonely fen,
Led by the wand’ring light,
Began to cry, but God ever nigh,
Appeard like his father in white.

He kissed the child & by the hand led
And to his mother brought,
Who in sorrow pale, thro’ the lonely dale
Her little boy weeping sought.

To My Mother
by Edgar Allan Poe (1849)
(written by Poe to his mother-in-law who raised him)

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of “Mother,”
Therefore by that dear name I long have called you -
You who are more than mother unto me,
And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you,
In setting my Virginia’s spirit free.
My mother—my own mother, who died early,
Was but the mother of myself; but you
Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,
And thus are dearer than the mother I knew
By that infinity with which my wife
Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.

There was a Child went Forth
by Walt Whitman (from Leaves of Grass, first published in 1855 edition)

There was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the Third-month lambs, and the sow’s pink-faint litter, and the mare’s foal, and the cow’s calf,
And the noisy brood of the barn-yard, or by the mire of the pond-side,
And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there—and the beautiful curious liquid,
And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads—all became part of him.

The field-sprouts of Fourth-month and Fifth-month became part of him;
Winter-grain sprouts, and those of the light-yellow corn, and the esculent roots of the garden,
And the apple-trees cover’d with blossoms, and the fruit afterward, and wood-berries, and the commonest weeds by the road;
And the old drunkard staggering home from the out-house of the tavern, whence he had lately risen,
And the school-mistress that pass’d on her way to the school,
And the friendly boys that pass’d—and the quarrelsome boys,
And the tidy and fresh-cheek’d girls—and the barefoot negro boy and girl,
And all the changes of city and country, wherever he went.

His own parents,
He that had father’d him, and she that had conceiv’d him in her womb, and birth’d him,
They gave this child more of themselves than that;
They gave him afterward every day—they became part of him.

The mother at home, quietly placing the dishes on the supper-table;
The mother with mild words—clean her cap and gown, a wholesome odor falling off her person and clothes as she walks by;
The father, strong, self-sufficient, manly, mean, anger’d, unjust;
The blow, the quick loud word, the tight bargain, the crafty lure,
The family usages, the language, the company, the furniture—the yearning and swelling heart,
Affection that will not be gainsay’d—the sense of what is real—the thought if, after all, it should prove unreal,
The doubts of day-time and the doubts of night-time—the curious whether and how,
Whether that which appears so is so, or is it all flashes and specks?
Men and women crowding fast in the streets—if they are not flashes and specks, what are they?
The streets themselves, and the façades of houses, and goods in the windows,
Vehicles, teams, the heavy-plank’d wharves—the huge crossing at the ferries,
The village on the highland, seen from afar at sunset—the river between,
Shadows, aureola and mist, the light falling on roofs and gables of white or brown, three miles off,
The schooner near by, sleepily dropping down the tide—the little boat slack-tow’d astern,
The hurrying tumbling waves, quick-broken crests, slapping,
The strata of color’d clouds, the long bar of maroon-tint, away solitary by itself—the spread of purity it lies motionless in,
The horizon’s edge, the flying sea-crow, the fragrance of salt marsh and shore mud;
These became part of that child who went forth every day, and who now goes, and will always go forth every day.


by Howard Johnson

"M" is for the million things she gave me,

"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"
A word that means the world to me.

Song of the Old Mother
by William Butler Yeats (from The Wind Among the Reeds, 1899)

I rise in the dawn, and I kneel and blow
Till the seed of the fire flicker and glow;
And then I must scrub and bake and sweep
Till stars are beginning to blink and peep;
And the young lie long and dream in their bed
Of the matching of ribbons for bosom and head,
And their days go over in idleness,
And they sigh if the wind but lift a tress:
While I must work because I am old,
And the seed of the fire gets feeble and cold.

Carrie Underwood - Mama's Song

Before the Birth of One of Her Children
by Anne Bradstreet

All things within this fading world hath end,
Adversity doth still our joys attend;
No ties so strong, no friends so dear and sweet,
But with death's parting blow are sure to meet.
The sentence past is most irrevocable,
A common thing, yet oh, inevitable.
How soon, my Dear, death may my steps attend,
How soon't may be thy lot to lose thy friend,
We both are ignorant,yet love bids me
These farewell lines to recommend to thee,
That when the knot's untied that made us one,
I may seem thine, who in effect am none.
And if I see not half my days that's due,
What nature would, God grant to yours and you;
The many faults that well you know I have
Let be interred in my oblivious grave;
If any worth or virtue were in me,
Let that live freshly in thy memory
And when thou feel'st no grief, as I no harmes,
Yet love thy dead, who long lay in thine arms,
And when thy loss shall be repaid with gains
Look to my little babes, my dear remains.
And if thou love thyself, or loved'st me,
These O protect from stepdame's injury.
And if chance to thine eyes shall bring this verse,
With some sad sighs honor my absent hearse;
And kiss this paper for thy dear love's sake,
Who with salt tears this last farewell did take.