My friend Celia Mitchell gave me a copy of this book the other day. It’s a collection of her lovely husband Adrian’s writings on the theatre. That sounds a bit of a narrow subject, but as it is by Adrian it turns out to also be about life, love and everything, so it’s a terrific read.
On the flimsy excuse that it mentions a hedge, I don’t think Celia will mind me reproducing this poem, which he wrote after the death of Kenneth Tynan (who was a long-time friend and who commissioned Tyger, his William Blake play, for the National Theatre).
Elegy for Ken Tynan
The morning after you died
my fingers wouldn’t type
I switched off my typewriter
cried my way downstairs
opened the door on to the wide garden
the grass was brilliant with dew
hedgeful of birds blowing all sorts of jazz
and a brand-new sky
Fuck it!, I said,
then I heard you laughing
(Which is more or less how I feel about Adrian having died too soon.)