The Slow Lane: The Last Word

After 11 years, Harry Eyres’ column has come to an end. Here’s his first, from January 17, 2004

Thanks for taking a slow walk with me

Through this column, connections have been made and the conversation has broadened

The Slow Lane: Dangerous minds

Isis could be seen as a vast and terrifying collective outbreak of the Freudian concept of ‘acting out’

Horace – the best self-help there is

It is that forging and tempering that makes the poet’s utterances strong and flexible

The Slow Lane: Same street, new perspective

The quiet streets have that special Viennese quality of grandeur combined with melancholy and nostalgia

The Slow Lane: Inspiration v perspiration

Perhaps a lot of rugby has always been prosaic but I struggle to recall such a dearth of poetry

The Slow Lane: Culture brings its own riches

Participation in the arts has a hugely positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing

The Slow Lane: Sharp satire isn’t all it seems

Caricaturist James Gillray was arrested over a print showing politicians kissing a new royal baby’s backside

The Slow Lane: A refugee’s tale of darts and bad sherry

A country’s values come into focus when seen by an outsider, contrasting them with his native country

The Slow Lane: Ghosts of school days past

As I approached the hall where the relics of our vintage were assembled, I heard an unspirit-like roar

The Slow Lane: Dumplings and humanity

Taipei’s MRT is the only underground railway where someone has offered to tie up my shoelace

The Slow Lane: Where myths match reality

The story of Sisyphus compares quite well with the experience of zero-hours contracts

The Slow Lane: An urban stage for nature

The Guandu Nature Park in Taipei has an importance out of all proportion to its size

The Slow Lane: Gifts from the court of Federer

The extraordinary thing about Roger Federer is that he still loves playing tennis after all these years

The Slow Lane: Who is the greatest painter of them all?

Rembrandt and Velázquez were contemporaries, but in other respects could hardly have been more different

The Slow Lane: Have you got your shame face on?

Feelings of shame, unlike other emotions, are difficult to hide

The Slow Lane: Winter as a wonderland

‘There is a unique beauty to this time of year. Everything looks ghostly in the dense, opaque air’

The Slow Lane: True nature of the new greens

Have we gone from protecting nature to managing it on behalf of the Earth’s dominant species?

The Slow Lane: Class acts

Mussorgsky and Toulouse-Lautrec reached out to people treated as extras rather than full human subjects

The Slow Lane: An appeal to our modern-day prophets

Too many poets have turned inward, speaking to their fellows rather than to the wider world


Harry EyresHarry Eyres established the FT’s Slow Lane column, which celebrates the creative use of down-time, in January 2004 and wrote his final column in April 2015. Before that in a varied journalistic career he was a theatre critic and arts writer for The Times (1987-1993), wine editor of Harpers & Queen (1989-1996), wine columnist for The Spectator (1984-1989) and the first and so far the only Poetry Editor of The Daily Express (1996-2001).

In addition to his journalistic work Harry Eyres is a published poet, editor of LSE Environment, the newsletter of LSE’s Centre for Environmental Policy and Governance, and teaches London theatre for a consortium of American universities. He wrote the Beginner’s Guide to Plato’s The Republic for Hodder & Stoughton’s Beginner’s Guides to Great Works series.