Mad

When I’m done being angry,
then I’ll make love.
Right now, you should be glad I’m listening.

When you flash that big smile,
I smile back. It doesn’t mean I’m not angry.
You keep looking at me,
so I look, too. It isn’t right
to ignore the boss.

Right now you should be glad.

You say something, and I answer.
That doesn’t make it a conversation.
You call me to bed, I don’t make a fuss.
But unless I want it myself,
it doesn’t count as love.

Right now you should be glad.

You hug me, I hug you back.
You can see I’m still burning.
I can’t help it, god on the hill,
if I’m engulfed in your passion.

Right now you should be glad.

— Annamayya, God on the Hill: Temple Poems from Tirupati, trans. Velcheru Narayana Rao and David Shulam (h/t Achal Prabhala)

Mad

Bad

[M]any of my generation, born in the last years or in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, had the same inchoate yearning for transformation. Postwar Britain was not an easy place to grow up. We may have defeated Hitler, but the war had ruined us. Britain was now a second-rate power, and food, clothing, and petrol were strictly rationed well into the 1950s…After the war, we were in debt to the United States for 3 billion pounds, our empire was dismantled and though we were fed on a surfeit of films celebrating Britain’s endurance and victory, nobody seemed prepared to look facts in the face and decide what our future role in the world should be. Young Britons, like myself, who came to maturity in this twilight confusion of austerity, repression, nostalgia, frustration, and denial wanted not only a different world but to be changed ourselves.

— Karen Armstrong, The Spiral Staircase

Bad

Politics

‘I am a politician,’ Enoch Powell told an audience in Wichita, ‘that is my profession and I am not ashamed of it. My race of man is employed by society to carry the blame for what goes wrong. As a very great deal does go wrong in my country there is a lot of blame. In return for taking the blame for what is not our fault, we have learned how not to take the blame for what is our fault.’

— Inigo Thomas, Short CutsLondon Review of Books vol 40 No. 4, 22 February 2018

Politics

Nice

NOTE

Only the most pleasant characters in this book are portraits of living people and the events here recorded unfortunately never took place.

— Margery Allingham, The Tiger in the Smoke

Nice

First lines

Teju Cole, Seven Short Stories about Drones

First lines