On our computer the screensaver uses random photos from our numerous files of photographs. Today came up with an old one of Arnside, where we used to live. On the horizon of the Knott, the hill behind Arnside, there seemed to be a strange structure. I couldn’t think what is could be. It seemed tall with thin wavery arms, some sort of antenna perhaps. Then it dawned upon me. There was a damsel fly sitting on the screen at that point. A quick wave of my arms & it disappeared. It just goes to show how easy it is to be misled.
|The picture that prompted these musings|
Talking about perceptions, yesterday Philip Larkin, the poet was granted a space in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. It was questioned why this had not happened before. After all he died in 1985, quite a while ago. It was suggested it was because some of his personal letters had revealed him as a rather unpleasant man, with racist tendencies & a taste for pornography.
When I was at Hull University many moons ago, in the 1970s, he was the Head Librarian there. At the beginning of my course, he came & gave us a talk on the use of the library. I had heard of him as a poet then, even read & admired some of his verse. However, he did strike me as an odd man, who I wanted nothing to do with.
However, I can’t help thinking for the purpose of a place in Poets’ Corner, surely the man should be judged on his poetry, not on him as a person. In centuries to come I suspect he might be remembered as a poet. It should be on his verse that he should be judged. Surely any work of art should be judged on its own basis rather than the character of the author of the work. The most unpleasant people can still produce great art. Indeed sometimes it is what drives them to produce that work, or the need to express themselves can taint their everyday lives. Either way the work remains great, even if the man less so.