The publication date for Amateurs has been pushed back to February 9th as there has been a slight delay in getting finished copies. As the Lawrence Durrell centenary is in February – the 27th – this makes perfect sense.

Apropos of nothing in particular, except that I was on the tube this morning, underground travel can be claustrophobic, squalid and grim – and then every now and then something turns it luminous. Today as I pounded down the escalator at Oxford Circus, I heard a wonderful mezzo voice singing Che faro senza Euridice? by Gluck. It transformed my morning and the music has been resonating through my head ever since.

I have a simple rule of thumb with buskers. If they’ve got ‘it’, they get money. Defining ‘it’ is impossible, but also impossible to miss. Cue LD, who so often got ‘it’ in his poems. Here’s the beginning of an early one, written in 1932, when he was 20 and had just met Nancy:

I turned and found a new-moon at my feet:
All the long day and night made measureless:
New glamour in the traffick of the street,
And in your glance a secret holiness.
Here is a wonder that has made us wise,
Discovered all creation in a song.
We have found light and shining of the eyes,
And loyalty is with us all day long.

 

It’s called Discovery of Love. And I love, today especially, ‘discovered all creation in a song’. Perfect.

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