Philip Larkin, in an obituary of Louis MacNeice said “he was… a town observer: his poetry was the poetry of our everyday life, of shop-windows, traffic policemen and ice-cream soda, lawn-mowers, and an uneasy awareness of what the newsboys were shouting. In addition he displayed a sophisticated sentimentality about falling leaves and lipsticked cigarette stubs: he could have written the words of ‘These Foolish Things’. We were grateful to him for having found a place in poetry for these properties, for intruding them in “the drunkenness of things being various”. Larkin’s analysis is neat, sharply observed, and has echoes of…

Peter Forbes

I write about biomimicry and nanoscience in books and review science books for the Guardian and Independent. Teach Narrative Non-fiction at City University.

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