Yesterday evening, I sat in my living room leafing through “The New Oxford Book of English Verse”. Pausing at Keats, I read several of his poems, the last one among them being “Autumn”. “Autumn” is one of those poems which refreshes the jaded soul and causes the reader to gasp in wonder at the sheer beauty of the poet’s creation.
Having read Keats, I was minded to reproduce “Autumn” on this site. However “Autumn” is well known and rather than quote a much loved and well known poem, I have chosen instead to share Ernest Christopher Dowson’s poem, “Autumnal”:
“PALE amber sunlight falls across
The reddening October trees,
That hardly sway before a breeze
As soft as summer: summer’s loss
Seems little, dear! on days like these!
Let misty autumn be our part!
The twilight of the year is sweet:
Where shadow and the darkness meet
Our love, a twilight of the heart
Eludes a little time’s deceit.
Are we not better and at home
In dreamful Autumn, we who deem
No harvest joy is worth a dream?
A little while and night shall come,
A little while, then, let us dream.
Beyond the pearled horizons lie
Winter and night: awaiting these
We garner this poor hour of ease,
Until love turn from us and die
Beneath the drear November trees”.
I wasn’t my usual chipper self when giving this interview, and when I received the notes back I realised that I sound like a proper arsey little madam!
Looking pretty arsey here.
1. I was surprised when you told me that Porters in a College don’t actually carry any bags for anyone. They simply guard the keys.
Portering is far more than just guarding keys, I assure you! The Porters ensure the smooth running of the day-to-day business of College life, handling everything from the post to broken hearts. They are the backbone of academia – providing security, advice and a friendly ear at any time of the day or night. Guarding keys, indeed. Pah! Philistine.
2. PorterGirl is a work of fiction but based heavily on your life as the first female Deputy Head Porter at a Cambridge college. What was the hardest thing about writing this book?