A poet’s prayer

A poet’s prayer

In fact, a prayer for any writer. Having just read John Drury’s marvelous appreciation of George Herbert’s life and his vivifying skills of poetry, I am more conscious than usual of the need for such fortifying.  Drury’s Music at Midnight is, among...
The perfect spot, finally

The perfect spot, finally

From the multiple versions described by his wife, it seems it took many years and experiments for John Steinbeck to settle on the perfect writing space.  And in the end, he simply built it himself, with the help of a local carpenter. In homage to the name he gave to...
Writing on wheels

Writing on wheels

Another in a series of accounts by John Steinbeck’s wife, Elaine, of his perpetual search for the perfect writing space. This bright idea came of his frustration at one point of a writing room which had no sound insulation and therefore no privacy. But his...
Of centuries and cows

Of centuries and cows

These quirky comments by Steinbeck charmed me – first his reaction to the first room he chose to work in, and then his decision to move elsewhere on the old property they rented near Glastonbury. ‘We lived in an ancient cottage that was listed in the...
Of boats and books

Of boats and books

Another example of Steinbeck’s search for a perfect writing spot, in different houses, places, times of his life, as described by his wife.  She never entered these spaces without being invited, which on occasion led to some surprises.This is a writing room high...
All you need is love

All you need is love

Another description by Steinbeck’s widow of yet another of his writing spaces, which comprised mostly rooms but some other curious places.  Here a ‘room of one’s own’ is complemented by pervasive love. ‘Now I am married to Elaine and in...
When did you begin?

When did you begin?

Recently I read an old penny-paperback of The Grapes of Wrath.  I was about three-quarters of the way through when I left it on a plane – I hope someone picked it up and read it.  So I bought another copy of the same edition as it had a foreword by...

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