“I was sitting on a train on the Northern Line some years ago, when I looked up and saw my name where usually there were adverts: Full Moon and Little Frieda. The poem had been selected as one of the Poems on the Underground. I looked away in disbelief; it must be some other Frieda. But when I looked again it was the poem my father had written about me when I was a child. My face was scarlet with self-consciousness; I had to remind myself that there were no gigantic arrows pointing down at me saying “this is the Frieda the poem is about”.
I wanted to share the moment with someone; I turned to the man sitting beside me and wondered how he would react if I grabbed him by the arm, shook him into consciousness and pointed, saying: “Look, look what my daddy wrote for me!”
Instead, I wrapped the idea of the poem around me like a coat, keeping my secret.”
Read The Times article by Frieda Hughes here.
“When I look at my life I realise that the mistakes I have made, the things I really regret, were not errors of judgement but failures of feeling.”
– Jeanette Winterson
Read Jeanette Winterson’s January column on the death of her father here.
Stop all the clocks
W H Auden
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.