January 27, 2016


"The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it."
~ Seamus Heaney, Digging

"God is a foreman with certain definite views
Who orders life in shifts of work and leisure."
~ Seamus Heaney, Docker

"Dispraise the catch, and smile
As you find a rhythm
Working you, slow mile by mile,
Into your proper haunt
Somewhere, well out, beyond..."
~ Seamus Heaney, Casualty

"Honeymooning, moonlighting, late for the Proms,
Our echoes die in that corridor and now
I come as Hansel came on the moonlit stones
Retracing the path back, lifting the buttons."
~ Seamus Heaney, The Underground

"Who would connive
in civilized outrage
yet understand the exact
and tribal, intimate revenge."
~ Seamus Heaney, Punishment

"All I know is a door into the dark."
~ Seamus Heaney, The Forge

"A people hungering from birth,
grubbing, like plants, in the bitch earth,
were grafted with a great sorrow."
~ Seamus Heaney, At a Potato Digging

"Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot,
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.
A four foot box, a foot for every year."
~ Seamus Heaney, Mid-Term Break

"How culpable was he
That last night when he broke
Our tribe's complicity?
'Now, you're supposed to be
An educated man,'
I hear him say. 'Puzzle me
The right answer to that one."
~ Seamus Heaney, Casualty

"History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme."
~ Seamus Heaney, The Cure at Troy

January 15, 2016

William Golding 

Influential 20th century English poet, novelist and playwright.


Full Name: William Gerald Golding
William Golding
AKA: Sir William Gerald Golding
Pseudonym: None
Date of Birth: 19 September 1911
Place of Birth: Newquay, Cornwall, England, UK
Nationality: British
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
Death: 19 June 1993
Place of Death: Perranarworthal, Cornwall, England, UK
Cause of Death: Heart failure
Place of Burial: Bowerchalke, South Wiltshire
Father: Alec Albert Golding (1877- 1958)
Mother: Mildred Mary Agatha Golding (1871-1960)
Siblings: 01 elder brother: Joseph Golding
Spouse: Ann Brookfield (?-1995)
No of Children: 02
Son: David Golding (b. 1940)
Daughter: Judith Diana (b. 1945)
Known for: his allegorical magnum opus Lord of the Flies (1954), a disturbing study on the inherent violence in human nature
Criticized for: always taking a controversial view on subjects most people found abhorrent, including paedophilia and bondage
Influences: William Shakespeare (1564 –1616), R. M. Ballantyne (1825 –1894), Joseph Conrad (1857 –1924), H. G. Wells (1866 –1946), George Orwell (1903 – 1950), Richard Hughes (1900 –1976)
Influenced: Stephen King (b. 1947), William Butler, Jaime Clarke (b. 1971)
Alma Mater: Marlborough Grammar School; Brasenose College, Oxford; University of Oxford


“Fancy thinking the Beast was something you could hunt and kill! You knew, didn’t you? I’m part of you? Close, close, close! I’m the reason why it’s no go? Why things are what they are?” William Golding, Lord of the Flies

Major Themes

  • Inherent evil of man
  • Atrocities of war
  • Sociopolitical concerns
  • Fall of man
  • Human fear

Notable Works

  • Poems (1934)
  • The Brass Butterfly (1958)
  • Lord of the Flies (1954)
  • The Inheritors (1955)
  • Pincher Martin (1956)
  • Free Fall (1959)
  • The Spire (1964)
  • The Pyramid (1967)
  • The Scorpion God (1971)
  • Darkness Visible (1979)
  • The Paper Men (1984)
  • To the Ends of the Earth (trilogy)
- Rites of Passage (1980)
-Close Quarters (1987)
-Fire Down Below (1989)
  • The Double Tongue (1995)
  • The Hot Gates (1965)
  • A Moving Target (1982)
  • An Egyptian Journal (1985)

Did You Know?

  • Golding was born at his grandmother’s house in Newquay, Cornwall, England.
  • Golding’s father was a schoolmaster at the Marlborough Grammar School, while his mother was active in the Women's Suffrage Movement.
  • He grew up with his elder brother Joseph in Wiltshire.
  • Golding and his brother studied at his father’s school.
  • He went to Brasenose College, Oxford to study natural science to pursue his dream to become a scientist. However, after 2 years he migrated into English literature for his increasing interest in literature.
  • In 1939, Golding got married to Ann Brookfield, an analytic chemist and remained married to her until his death and died beside her.
  • Ann Brookfield died on New Year’s Day, eighteen months after her husband, and was buried beside him in the graveyard at Bowerchalke.
  • When Golding was 18 he tried to rape a 15-year-old Marlborough girl named Dora, who fought him off to save herself from his clutches. However, two years later the pair met again and had sex in a field. But eventually Golding broke up with her for two reasons: firstly he feared that she might get pregnant, secondly she was below his social status.
  • Once he engaged with his school life friend Mollie Evans, but ultimately he declined to marry her for the same reasons as with Dora.
  • Golding was a heavy drinker and he often disgraced himself at social occasions.
  • In 1993, Golding died of heart failure in Tullimaar House at Perranarworthal, Cornwall, where his son David and daughter Judith still live.
  • In 1935 he started teaching English and philosophy at Bishop’s Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury but abandoned teaching in 1940 to join the Royal Navy to participate in World War II. However, having returned from war he went back to teaching.
  • His experience from five years’ service in the Royal Navy during World War II, helped to mould his theme of inherent violence in human nature.
  • His first novel was The Lord of the Flies, which is considered one of the most important literary works of the twentieth century.
  • Lord of the Flies was originally titled The Strangers Within.
  • Lord of the Flies was influenced by R. M. Ballantyne’s 19th children's classic The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific (1858).
  • Although Golding wrote a number of other novels, none were as successful as Lord of the Flies.
  • Lord of the Flies has been translated into many languages and was adapted into film in 1963 and 1990.
  • Golding secured a Nobel Prize for Lord of the Flies in 1983, nearly 2 decades after the novel was first written.
  • Lord of the Flies faced rejection from at least 21 publishers before final acceptance by Faber & Faber.
  • Golding was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988.
  • He was awarded the Booker Prize for literature in 1980 for his novel Rites of Passage.
  • Prior to his death he was working on The Double Tongue, an unfinished manuscript, which was published posthumously in 1995.
  • Seahorse, Circle Under the Sea and Short Measure are amongst some of his works that never got published.
  • Golding could not endure even the slightest criticism of his work, so most of the time he used to leave the country whenever a new book was about to publish.
  • Golding was a recluse and had always been apathetic to face the media or to publish his biography. After Golding’s demise John Carey came forward to publish his first biography entitled William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies.

Photo Gallery

William Golding

William Golding

William Golding

William Golding

William Golding

William Golding & his wife Ann in their Wiltshire Garden in 1983

William Golding & Ann Golding

William Golding with His Wife Ann, Daughter Judith & Son David in the Late 1940s

William Golding (right) with his Elder Brother Jose in c.1914

William Golding in 1913

Golding (right) with his brother Jose in c. 1924


 “Lord of the Flies.” GradeSaver. 2016. GradeSaver LLC. 1 January 2016
< http://www.gradesaver.com/lord-of-the-flies>.

Pujante, Juan Javier Herraiz.“Golding's Themes.” MURAL. 1995. Juan Javier Herraiz Pujante.
1 January 2016 < http://mural.uv.es/juanhepu/Goldingthemes.html>.

  Roberts, Glenys. “New book reveals Lord of the Flies author William Golding's
Own Life Was Shockingly Depraved. Daily Mail. 2016.
Associated Newspapers Ltd. 1 January 2016

“Sir William Gerald Golding, Nobel Prize in Literature, 1983.” Geni.com.
2016. Geni.com. 1 January 2016
< http://www.geni.com/people/Sir-William-Golding/6000000014674435345>.

 “William Golding.” Wikipedia.com. 2016. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 1 January 2016
< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Golding>.

“William Golding” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.
 “William Golding Biography.” eNotes.com. 2016. eNotes.com, Inc. 1 January 2016
< http://www.enotes.com/topics/william-golding>.

January 2, 2016

John Keats 

Major poet from the English Romantic movement.


  • Full Name: John Keats
    John Keats
  • Pseudonym: None
  • Date of Birth: 31 October 1795
  • Place of Birth: Moorgate, London , England
  • Baptism: St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate
  • Zodiac Sign: Scorpion
  • Nationality: British
  • Death: 23 February 1821
  • Place of Death: Rome, Papal States
  • Cause of Death: Tuberculosis
  • Place of Burial: Protestant Cemetery, Rome
  • Epitaphs:
This Grave contains all that was mortal, of a YOUNG ENGLISH POET, who on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his heart, at the Malicious Power of his enemies, desired these words to be Engraven on his Tomb Stone: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water
  • Father: Thomas Keats (?-1804)
  • Mother: Frances Jennings Keats (?-1810)
  • Siblings: 3 brothers and 1 sister
1. Brother: George Keats (1797-1841)
2. Brother: Tom Keats (1799-1818)
3. Brother: Edward Keats (1801-1802)
4. Sister: Frances Mary "Fanny" Keats (1803-1889)
  • Marriage: Never Married
  • FiancĂ©: Fanny Brawne (1800-1865)
  • Alma Mater: King's College London
  • Known for: his rich and melodious verse with vivid imagery, which evokes high sensuousness and often expresses a philosophy though mythological reference.
  • Criticized for: not dealing with the current political, social or religious events of the day.
  • Influences: Edmund Spenser (1552/1553–1599), Michael Drayton (1563–1631), William Shakespeare(1564–1616), John Donne (1572 –1631), William Browne(c. 1590 – c. 1645), John Milton (1608–1674), William Wordsworth (1770 –1850), Leigh Hunt (1784 –1859), Lord Byron (1788 –1824).
  • Influenced: Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809 –1892), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 –1882), Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), W.B. Yeats (1865–1939), Edward Thomas (1878–1917), Wallace Stevens (1879–1955), D.H. Lawrence (1885–1930), T.S. Eliot (1888–1965), Wilfred Owen (1893–1918), Philip Larkin (1922 –1985), Seamus Heaney (1939 – 2013), Dan Simmons (1948), and Neil Gaiman (1960)


"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness."John Keats, Endymion

Major Themes

  • Nature
  • Beauty
  • Melancholy
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Life
  • Death
  • Art
  • Escapism
  • Ideal Vs Reality
  • Separation Vs Connection

Notable Works:

  • Poems (1817)
  • Endymion (1818)
  • "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (1819)
  • "Ode to a Nightingale" (1819)
  • "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" (1819)
  • "On Autumn" (1820)
  • Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems (1820)

Did You Know?

  • Keats’ father was a livery-stable keeper.
  • John Keats was the eldest of the four surviving children to his parents.
  • Keats was eight years old when his father died.
  • His father died of a skull fracture, suffered when he fell from his horse while returning home from visiting John and George at Enfield school.
  • Within a year of his father’s death Keats’ mother married William Rawlings, a stable-keeper, but the marriage did not last long.
  • Keats died of tuberculosis, the disease which killed his mother and Tom,his brother.
  • Although he engaged with Fanny Brawne, the tuberculosis ceased him from marrying her.
  • Along with Byron and Shelley, Keats represented the second generation of Romantic poets.
  • Despite being one of the major members of the Romantic Movement, Keats was never directly associated with the other poets of the movement and he often felt uneasy amongst them.
  • During his death Keats requested to add a short phrase on his tombstone (Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water). However, his two close friends Joseph Severn and Charles Brown decided to extend the epitaph with a few additional phrases.
  • Upon Keats’ death his friend Percy Bysshe Shelley composed the elegy Adonais.
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley died just one year after Keats and was buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome, where Keats is also buried.
  • Keats’ poetry received fierce criticism from the then critics, yet his reputation has proved to be more enduring than the names of any of his critics.
  • He studied medicine at a London hospital and became a licensed apothecary in 1816. But he never practiced to pursue his dream of becoming a poet.
  • Despite the fact that his life spanned just 25 years and wrote only 54 poems, his accomplishment is more remarkable compared to his short lifetime.
  • During his lifetime Keats published only three books of poetry.
  • Keats' Endymion is a four-thousand-line long poem based on the Greek myth.
  • Keats’s letters suggest that his first female friend was Isabella Jones who he met in May 1817. Although it is not clear how intense the relationship was but possibly Keats had sexual relationship with her.
  • In 1818 Keats fell in love with a woman named Fanny Brawne.
  • The romance between Keats and Fanny became known seven years after her death when her children sold the love letters. Until then, Fanny was just a secret lover of Keats as her identity was unknown to the world.
  • The Fall of Hyperion remained unpublished until more than three decades after Keats' death.
  • In the year 1819 Keats contracted tuberculosis and his health deteriorated rapidly.
  • Before Keats left for Rome Fanny gave him a journal and paper so he could write to her, but Keats neither wrote to her nor opened any of her letters. She also gave him an oval marble which she used to cool her hands while sewing, which Keats held in his hands till his death.
  • In his lifetime Keats had very insignificant readership and his genius was fully recognized long after his demise.
  • During his lifetime he managed to publish only three volumes of poetry and was able to sell only 200 copies out of these works.
  • Keats nursed Tom when he became seriously ill due to tuberculosis, thereby exposing himself to the deadly infection.
  • After hearing Keats’ death news Fanny mourned for six long years and subsequently married more than 12 years after his death.


" Fanny Brawne Biography & Facts.” English History. 2015. English History.
5 December 2015 < http://englishhistory.net/keats/fanny-brawne/>.

"John Keats.” Wikipedia. 2015. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 5 December 2015

“John Keats” Microsoft Encarta. DVD-ROM. Redmond: Microsoft, 2005.

"John Keats: Biography.” Shmoop. 2015. Shmoop University. 5 December 2015

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