Monday, 16 November 2015


Book launch: Thursday 19th November, 7.30 pm Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton St, Covent Garden, London WC2

Illuminated by bright flashes of rueful wit, this is a collection to savour.  But don’t let the conversational tone of Wynn Wheldon’s poems fool you: they smile and take you by the hand and then pierce you with little needles of pathos or loss, as sharp and fiery as Cupid’s arrows.

Cressida Connolly

Here are big themes: sex and death, gods and monsters. 'I could consult The Golden Bough or Sigmund Freud and find all sorts of explanation' declares the poet. But turn instead to his frank, erotic, beguiling poems. Here are the traces of a life, the passage through it, the innocence and experience, the successes and failures, the sacred and profane, here is youth and maturity, mortality, desire, and the cooling of desire. Here we find Dionysus, a phoenix and canoeists from Birmingham. Above all, memory - the curve of a breast, the smell of sex, light falling on water - fleeting sensual impressions that will in turn linger on in the mind of the reader. I love these poems.

Anna Thomasson

Private Places is a full collection in the best sense. It is redolent with thought, in its own voice, full of perception, 'The hillsides weep into the reservoir', and fine irony, 'She gave herself to someone sound.../Who did not euphemise desire with books'.

William Oxley

Saturday, 14 November 2015


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Monday, 9 November 2015

Philosophy Then and Philosophy Now

Not Danish Cabbie

Second generation Turkish cabbie in Copenhagen: "Danish football - [to my wife] excuse me because you are woman - but Danish football is women's game.  I like English football. Real mens.  I am not Danish. I not marry Danish woman. Danish women too much stress."

Tuesday, 3 November 2015


This is from my mother's novel 'Mrs Bratbe's August Picnic', published in 1965.  The character speaking is Mrs Bratbe's 17 year old Alexandra, recently expelled from school. Uncle Bunny is the Prime Minister.  It seems prescient.

p 247 Panther edition