Yesterday’s post about love letters reminded me how much I love a poem by Louis MacNeice, my favourite part of which is below, from his Autumn Journal:
September has come, it is hers
Whose vitality leaps in the autumn,
Whose nature prefers
Trees without leaves and a fire in the fireplace.
So I give her this month and the next
Though the whole of my year should be hers who has rendered already
So many of its days intolerable or perplexed
But so many more so happy.
Who has left a scent on my life, and left my walls
Dancing over and over with her shadow
Whose hair is twined in all my waterfalls
And all of London littered with remembered kisses.
I absolutely love the line about London being littered with remembered kisses. The whole of Autumn Journal is an account of daily, personal, social and political life during the descent into World War Two – I find it compelling reading. It makes you feel – in every sense of the word – what it was like to be in London during that time. It’s his greatest achievement and an incredibly powerful piece of poetry.