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on 15 February 2014
He's not the greatest poet, as I'm sure he'd be first to admit, but he is treasurable, and these downloads from his meandering TLS column, far from comprehensive even at that date, almost twenty years ago now (think of it!) ask to be taken slowly (it has never strayed far from my bedside); his self-deprecating charm, or 'inverted arrogance', shines from the page. 'I have come to the conclusion that it is better to say nothing at all to a hairdresser, for fear of being misunderstood.' The only bum note is an odd science fiction story from 30/7/93. Fiction isn't his bag. His favourite poem at school, he tells us, was If I were Lord of Tartary. Funny, I was exposed to it too at an impressionable age, and loathed it. (The other one is 'I remember, I remember'; would I could forget it!) HW now sadly battles ill health, and occasionally tells us about it. More happily, this book is once again in print
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