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Kate Millett, Eng Lit and the The Farm in Poughkeepsie

There are pockets of Poughkeepsie that still have a rural look and feel. Cows graze and the corn is ripe for harvest. Old Overlook Road is one of them. It’s under fifteen minutes from my house and today I went […] 

Blackberrying

Here then, as promised is the indulgence of blackberry poems. (For any very young readers confused by Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackberry please know that the Blackberry was a communication device from the early C21st introduced sometime after […] 

Blackberry and Apple Crumble

If we had some bacon we could have bacon and eggs but we’ve got no eggs. That First World War catch phrase came to mind as I was contemplating an idle wish to make blackberry and apple crumble. I imagine […] 

Life in School: A New Year

More Life in School Cartoons Life in School 1-6 More Life in School Life in School: Buildings and Grounds  

Bitter Strawberries

     Farm work is one of the best jobs for getting to know people as they really are. The First Job and the Sweetest Sylvia Plath’s first job was on a farm in the summer of 1950. I am […] 

The Reason Why: Digging into Cause and Effect

When it comes to school improvement – or the fine art of problem finding and solution seeking – it’s always best to try and get everyone involved in the process. It’s a way to develop co-ownership of the culture and […] 

My gaze is clear as a sunflower

Paul Nash’s fascination with aerial bombardment led him to an ecstatic vision of “the sky blossoming with floating flowers”. This, and William Blake’s poem “Ah Sunflower”, inspired his late paintings, in which an airborne sunflower glides over imagined landscapes. Nash […] 

Saplings

I’m not giving anything away by quoting the deep irony of the last lines of Saplings: Turns you over, don’t it, to think of the children? I was saying to my daughter only yesterday, we got a lot to be […] 

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge… At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. – Jawaharlal […] 

Partition

“I was so rushed I had not time to go into the details,”  – Cyril Ratcliffe. The political leaders of the independence movement in British india were unable to agree on a united post-colonial future. The result was a plan […] 

Under the Radar: The Hedge Hoppers and the Hardest Day

After early mist the morning of Sunday August 18 1940 was bright with clear skies. It came to be known as the hardest day in the Battle of Britain. The detail from Diana Gardner’s wood engraving makes it seem like […] 

The Land Girl

The land army fights in the fields. It is in the fields of Britain that the most critical battle of the present war may well be fought and won. –  Lady Denman, the Director of the Women’s Land Army, WW2 […] 

Choosing books by the cover

I once worked in a school where the librarian arranged the non-fiction by the color of the spine. It made for some serendipitous browsing. He was a friendly fellow with a big bushy beard, a scholarly demeanor and who claimed […] 

August 1914

August 1914 What in our lives is burnt In the fire of this? The heart’s dear granary? The much we shall miss? Three lives hath one life – Iron, honey, gold. The gold, the honey gone – Left is the […] 

MCMXIV

MCMXIV Those long uneven lines Standing as patiently As if they were stretched outside The Oval or Villa Park, The crowns of hats, the sun On moustached archaic faces Grinning as if it were all An August Bank Holiday lark; […] 

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