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A Mundane Comedy is Dominic Kelleher's new book, which will be published in mid 2024. The introduction is available here and further extracts will appear on this site and on social media in the coming months.

The 52:52:52 project, launching on this site and on social media in mid 2024, will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

This site addresses what's changing, at the personal, organisational and societal levels. You'll learn about key changes across more than 150 elements of life, from ageing and time, through nature and animals, to kindness and love...and much more besides, which will help you better prepare for related change in your own life.

Poetry

On Poetry

Poetry

 

I share below (without comment...which is a personal act that belongs in the real, not the virtual world), an evolving, far from exhaustive, but from an emotional point-of-view, highly illustrative and authentic selection of my favourite poetry and lyrics...

 

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And it's a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace
And a wound that will never heal

- from Tom Traubert's Blues, by Tom Waits

 

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(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift

The Uses of Sorrow, by Mary Oliver

 

On T.S. Eliot

East Coker

 

T.S. Eliot's legacy remains profound and his poetry moves me deeply.

In 2016 I had the privilege of visiting his final resting place, East Coker.

I read or listen to the peerless Little Gidding often, and almost every line entrances, as if peering through a veil at something once known, but half-forgotten because not looked-for.

On Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Halcyon In Kal… 30 November 2023

 

I guess I've been aware of Walt Whitman as an American national icon since I was at university, and have long admired what I may be his most famous poem, I Sing the Body Electric.

It's probably been said many times before, and much more profoundly, and studied and dissected, but the poet's words do indeed seem to crackle with electricity, with vitality, with what Robert Pirsig called in Lila, "dynamic quality". This is a celebration of connecting, of being alive.

"Examine these limbs, red, black, or white—they are so cunning in tendon and nerve; 

They shall be stript, that you may see them. 

On Bob Dylan
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Halcyon In Kal… 17 May 2023

 

I was relatively late getting into Dylan properly...into my early 20s - although before that I'd appreciated individual songs, such as Lay Lady Lay, Like A Rolling Stone and others.

However, when his force finally it hit me, it hit me hard. Chimes of Freedom, To Ramona and Ballad in Plain D all affected me on a deep emotional level in different ways, while the likes of One More Cup of Coffee had a beguiling exoticism.

 

See also:

On Podcasts

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I have listened to and would recommend the following podcasts (2015-2018 recommendations to follow):

 

2014

On Interplay

Inspired by the interplay between therapy, poetry, neuroscience and novels in Start the Week.

Stw

Forensic psychotherapist Dr Gwen Adshead talked about the lost natures of her Broadmoor patients, in whom she can still sometimes recognise the little boys they once were.

William Boyd explored how early talent can flourish suddenly and then fade slowly.

Craig Raine compared the "language on point" composition of a poem to the art of dress-making.