Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Hitch on verse

Christopher Hitchens muses on the importance of poetry in his life and the "gold standard" of knowing the stuff by heart.
Originating from a naval family, and brought up in all-boys boarding schools, I was full of Henry Newbolt and Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Babington Macaulay. Even cornier heroic and patriotic poems and songs have a hold on me to this day. (The hymns and Bible verses have lost their grip, without being forgotten.) This helped rather than hindered my later exposure to W. H. Auden and Wilfred Owen, the latter of whose poems had the effect of a swift uppercut to my chin
More here.

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