February 21st, 2007


Auden's 100th

Newspapers, radio and television seem full of articles and programmes about how not enough fuss is being made about the Auden centenary. Wystan Hugh Auden was born one hundred years ago today and if anyone disagrees with me that he is one of our greatest poets, they can just go on disagreeing, that's all. I enjoyed Sunday evening's South Bank Show on the subject, which included a delightful interview with Alan Bennett. You don't often see him roaring with laughter. Bennett described Musée des Beaux Arts as 'a perfect poem' and it's hard to disagree. I haven't really got a favourite Auden poem, rather a host of favourite Auden lines which hang around in my head.

Here's a list for readers to add to.
People who like Auden: Alexander McCall Smith
Edit hartleyhare

People who don't like Auden: Simon Gray


Fantastic Mr. Fox

All last summer, a fox made himself so at home here that I would see him sunbathing on the grass. I'd stare at him and he would stare right back. In the autumn I saw him limping around on three legs and wondered how he would feed himself. Later, I saw the poor thing thin, grey, mangy-looking, and assumed he was a goner. Today, to my amazement, I saw him again. Still getting about on three legs but much sleeker and redder-looking than before. How they do that?

It's quite spring-like here today: sunshine at last and some warmth in it. I even cut the old leaves off those epimediums. Lathyrus vernus plants are next for the chop, before I'm cutting into green by mistake.