Daily Archives: August 5, 2018

“International Congress of Fear” by Brazilian Poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Three Worlds One Vision

Statue of Carlos Drummond de Andrade - Copacabana - Rio de Janeiro

Bronze Statue of Carlos Drummond de Andrade – Copacabana – Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
Photo Credit: Viagens Vamos Nessa! (Alexandre Macieira/Riotur)

My Poetry Corner August 2018 features the poem “International Congress of Fear” (Congresso Internacional do Medo) by Brazilian poet, journalist, and literary critic Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1902-1987), born in Itabira in Minas Gerais, Southeast Brazil. Considered one of the most influential Brazilian poets of the twentieth century, Drummond remains well-loved by the people for his humility and concern with the plight of modern man and struggle for freedom and dignity. 

Home of Carlos Drummond de Andrade - Itabira - Minas Gerais - Brazil

Home of Carlos Drummond de Andrade – Itabira – Minas Gerais – Brazil
Photo Credit: Passeios.org

At nineteen, Drummond began his writing career as a columnist for the Diário de Minas newspaper. At his parents’ insistence, he qualified as a pharmacist in 1925 but never practiced the profession. Instead, he cofounded a literary journal…

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Going home and passing have replaced death – By Adam Harris

Going home and passing have replaced death

These days there is a lot of euphemism surrounding one’s death. People hardly say that someone is dead. Instead, we would hear that the person has passed or that the person has gone home. Sometimes the message is simply that someone has gone.

Then there is the funeral. It is no longer a funeral service; it is a going-home service. Often, too, one is not actually saying farewell; one is celebrating the life of the person.           Continue reading

Have smartphones killed the art of conversation? – commentary

Have smartphones killed the art of conversation?

So we’ve gone off voice calls yet spend hours glued to our phones. But it’s simply that the rules of conversation have been redrawn in the age of WhatsApp, Snapchat and emojis
Woman on smartphone on escalator
 Most of the time we spend on our phones is used for chatting – via myriad new ways of communicating. 

News of the un-newsy kind this week, fresh from an Ofcom study designed to confirm a belief in our worst selves: we are a nation addicted to smartphones but are repelled by the idea of making or taking voice calls.

Is this the death of conversation? Not quite, but it’s certainly more than a blip in the cultural history of communication: in 2017, for the first time, the number of voice calls – remember, those things you did with your actual voice on your actual phone – fell in the UK. Meanwhile, internet addiction keeps growing, presumably because we haven’t quite worked out what to do with all those hours we’re saving on talking.                            Continue reading

The president’s rebuke of Black people on Emancipation Eve 2018 – By David Hinds

I have some difficulty with the president’s rebuke of Black people on Emancipation Eve

According to media reports, President Granger used the occasion of the Emancipation Eve event at Beterverwagting to deliver what one media house described as a “hard-hitting” speech in which he rebuked African Guyanese for not lifting themselves as their fore-parents did. It was one of those moments that caused all of Guyana to stop and listen because the rebuke came from the leader of the country and the political leader of Black people in Guyana on a day when those people turn out in their numbers to celebrate the anniversary of freedom from the worst form of human bondage.      Continue reading

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