steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Find a King, Lose a Poem

Here's a nice postscript to the Richard III affair. A poem by U. A. Fanthorpe on the fact that Richard's bones are destined never to be found, read by her partner (and my sometime colleague) Rosie Bailey. It's 26 minutes into this week's Last Word. (You can see the poem in the context of its sequence, Consequences, here - and I recommend you do.) Now that Richard is found, it is Fanthorpe's poem that becomes, in a sense, lost. We can still appreciate it, but never again can it have the meaning it once did, any more than Nineteen Eighty-four could be read in the same way once its eponymous year had passed. Time has meandered, brought in its revenges, and left the poem to stew in an ox-bow lake of its own making.

I believe Ursula Fanthorpe would have appreciated the irony.
Tags: books, current affairs
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