John Lennon and
Pierre Trudeau:
Instant Karma

May 2017 In the final year of the turbulent 1960s, as both the Vietnam War and the massive countercultural protests against it reached new levels of intensity, John Lennon and Yoko Ono visited Canada three separate times. The… Read More

The Tragically Hip:
Ahead by a Century

Good poetry is explosive. It makes us re-examine what we thought we knew, and in some instances it urges us to start again with a different, usually broader, viewpoint. Good songs – as Bob Dylan’s Nobel Laureate reminds us – have a similar impact.

Yesterday with
The Beatles

July 2016 I remember sitting in an English garden more than thirty years ago reading John Keats’s last great ode, “To Autumn”, which he wrote in September 1819. The poem is only three stanzas of eleven lines each,… Read More

Byron and Scotland

April 2016 Two hundred years ago this month, Lord Byron left England for good. It marked a spectacular fall from grace. Just four years earlier, in March 1812, he had achieved immense success with the publication of the… Read More

Sexual Identities and Imaginary Crimes

January 2016 Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was one of the greatest reformers of his age. Best remembered now as the chief exponent of the utilitarian axiom that the object of all government legislation must be “the greatest happiness of… Read More