The first pamphlet is a collection
by Philip Larkin, selected by Harold Pinter.
The second is a selection of
poems by Harold Pinter,
chosen by his wife, Antonia Fraser.
by HAROLD PINTER
chosen by Antonia Fraser
FOREWORD by Antonia Fraser
I was introduced to Harold's
poetry shortly after we first met in January 1975. He wrote a poem
called PARIS which celebrated our first jaunt together in May that
year, and poetry has remained central to our shared life ever since.
All the poems I have chosen - with one exception - were written
in the years following our first meeting, four of them directly
to me. Apart from PARIS, these are I KNOW THE PLACE, DENMARK HILL
and IT IS HERE: 'for A'. (Are you the A in question, asked my mother,
cautious where poetry is concerned.) The one exception to this rule,
LATER, belongs to the summer of 1974, and Harold tells me that it
expresses his mood at that time, so I have included it as a picture
Harold is fortunate, I believe, to be able to mark the turning-points
in his life through poetry, not only PARIS but GHOST after the death
of his first wife and DEATH written just after the registration
of his father's death at Hove Town Hall. CANCER CELLS, the last
poem in the book chronologically, refers to his recent illness.
So poetry remains central to his life, and to ours. Recently at
dinner in a local restaurant Harold suggested lightly that death
might be necessary otherwise the planet would be fatally over-loaded.
I responded with a sort-of-haiku written on a napkin:
If there was no death
In all the crowds
How would I have met you?
This was Harold's answer:
You'd find me turning from the long bar
One for you, one for me
Antonia Fraser 21 April 2002
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