James Darke

Poem: ‘Family Matter’

James Darke, 1 September 1983

I thought I saw my mother. There were snaps Of someone else’s children in her hand. A picture that affected me. But then I’d never been to see her very much.

Mother of my dreams, who knew the hand she held. Tracked to her dingy room in some frail place, Flat out in bed. And yet it was as if I had to break the door down to get in.


Moony Right

18 December 1986

SIR: I was interested to gather from R.W. Johnson’s piece on the Moonies (LRB, 18 December 1986) that the Reagan Administration took one of its most devoted members of staff, Pat Buchanan, from the Moony newspaper, the Washington Times. Readers of the London Times (of whom I am no longer one) were recently able to examine the thoughts of this same Pat Buchanan on the subject of the clandestine Iranian...


16 February 1984

SIR: In his interesting piece on ‘Aristotle and Women’ (LRB, 16 February), Jonathan Barnes writes: ‘“Dualise" is A.L. Peck’s ugly translation of the Greek verb epamphoterizein.’ Is there no limit to the Classicist’s willingness to advance the claims of his mystery? What ear could possibly be more offended by ‘dualise’ than by epamphoterizein? Or is this a learned joke?
SIR: Noel Annan writes learnedly and very entertainingly (LRB, 4 March) about the dawn of homosexuality, Platonic and otherwise, in the ancient universities of England at the end of the 19th century. But the sun also rose in other parts of the world, and he might have been a little more expansive in discussing the climate of opinion in which the bachelor don flourished. How far were their practices,...


8 November 1979

SIR: D.J. Enright has a lot of good fun with the thought that John McGahern’s new novel exhibits a hero who is ‘relentlessly miserable’, though the Ireland he lives in affords plenty to eat and drink. But people are often miserable, and there’s a literature to show, together with much in the way of other evidence, that Irish people, perhaps, are especially miserable. Their misery may even be...

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