This year in the life of the Oxford-based poet Edward Clarke (9 September) began around breakfast time. “I’ve been up since 4 a.m.,” an exhausted-sounding voice intoned. “It’s now seven.” From somewhere in the middle distance came a child’s cry. “I’m in thrall to something stronger than one is,” Clarke continued, “and it’s quite knackering.” At this point his wife, no doubt fresh from consoling the crying child, volunteered that she was “just happy that he can do something he likes”.
Chapter and verse
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