Today’s poetry news round up take a look at the companion book for the Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and the poet’s villa up for sale in Bucharest.
A Companion Collection for Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
To mark the 80th anniversary of the publications of TS Eliot’s
the long-awaited sequel that the poet himself dreamed of writing has been created.
is a volume containing just 22 poems, and is to be published by Faber & Faber; the publishing house behind Eliot’s work. Christopher Reid is a former poetry editor from Faber and also a Costa award-winning poet. The publishing of the book will start a year of celebrations as the publishers marks its 90th year.
Eliot originally wrote the book as gifts to give to his godchildren. However, over the years, it has thrilled both children and adults alike as well as inspiring the fourth longest running show on Broadway of all time; Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. Due to the popularity of Old Possum, Eliot had considered writing a companion book about dogs, in fact he had even thought of a title thanks to a conversation with his driver who said that he
He just never started writing it.
The idea to write the poems to go with the title came from one of the administrators of the Eliot estate who approached Reid a few years ago and so the book began.
Reid is probably best known for “A Scattering”, the collection of poems that he wrote as a tribute to his late wife and that won him the Costa book award in 2009. And just as Eliot was a man who loved cats, Reid is drawn to dogs. A fact he hadn’t quite realised until a journalist pointed out to him how many poems about, or featuring dogs, he had previously written
Amongst the dogs featured in the book are a lurcher named Molly, Leopold the languid lap dog and Flo the foxhound who is somewhat philosophical
In writing the poems Reid was very keen to retain certain elements of Eliot, but he wanted to make sure that what he achieved was more of a homage rather than a copying of Eliot’s wok but with dogs. Of course, there are complete differences as well. The cats Eliot wrote about were mischievous – even villainous at times – whereas his dogs are more trusting and loyal.
Poets House Goes Up for Sale
A villa in Bucharest, Romania that was the home of Octavian Goga has gone up for sale with a starting price of 4.5 million Euros. The villa has been estimated to be worth between 5-6 million euros and is located in downtown Bucharest. It was built somewhere between 1936 and 1938. The poet was the Romanian prime minister for just 44 days and the building had to reflect his status.
There are 5 levels to the villa which covers 1200 square metres and it is the work of Horia Creanga, who was the grandson of Ion Creanga – a great writer.