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December 2012

Nomination: Pigeons [First published in Departure January 1957]

In September 1956 Philip wrote a letter to his mother which contained the following paragraph:

I’m glad you heard the two programmes. I purred with pleasure at Stephen Potter’s appreciation and have sent him a copy……. The Hull programme was all right but I thought the poems were read badly. The one about Pigeons was written at Grantham when we were there at Christmas — they were on a roof opposite the hotel and I watched them through the short afternoons as we sat in the lounge. Do you remember them? I expect not. You were asleep most of the time.

Eva Larkin had been in hospital and Philip had obtained permission to take her out over the 1955 Christmas holiday. He and his mother spent what must have been a very lonely time there . And why Grantham? I think he would have been comforted if he had known a young Margaret Thatcher lived just up the road!

Ivor Maw

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