"Murray is the best kind of literary biographer" – The Financial Times.
For more information about the books of Nicholas Murray
click HERE and access his website
Winner of the 2015 Basil Bunting Award for poetry

Thursday, 30 August 2007

A Fine and Private Place

What was I doing today lurking suspiciously in the churchyard of St Giles-in-the-Fields in London? The explanation was the man with a yellow-tipped microphone from BBC Radio 4 who was doing a programme on Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress. Having written Marvell's biography in 1999 I was being interviewed at the church where the poet was buried in 1678. We started outside, setting the scene, and remarking that "in-the-fields" was not quite the right term for this church behind Tottenham Court Road and a stone's throw from Tin Pan Alley with a grinding set of road works outside replacing the Victorian water pipe system. It was a relief to get inside the church and have our chat about the poem in front of the poet's memorial. But before we did so I noticed that the recording equipment was laid out on a gravestone. What did that remind me of? Yes, Marvell's poem itself where he urges his mistress to seize the moment for pleasure because after death it will be too late: "The grave's a fine and private place/But none I think do there embrace."

The programme, in the Adventures in Poetry slot, will be broadcast on Sunday 21st October.

No comments: