Friday 27 March 2009

'thick soft damp green richness'

When Winnie uses the words 'beechen green' in Happy Days she is quoting Keats’s Ode to a Nightingale.

But thanks to the publication of Samuel Beckett's Letters we now know that three decades before he was sharing his close interest in Keats with his great friend Thomas McGreevy,

'I like that crouching brooding quality in Keats—squatting on the moss, crushing a petal, licking his lips & rubbing his hands.'

The attraction, he said, lay in the 'thick soft damp green richness' of the poems.

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