Thanks to modern technology, I recorded several of these broadcasts and have been watching them when time has permitted. The T.S. Eliot programme was unimpeachable in its detail, scope and balance, including a frank and fair investigation of the poet's attitude to Jews and Judaism. Among the sections I found particularly enjoyable, however, were those depicting Ezra Pound, who radiated intelligence and an eccentricity bordering on personality disorder with every word and gesture. I hadn't realised how indebted we are to Pound for the version of The Wasteland with which we are familiar. Still waiting in an electronic pigeonhole is the Louis MacNeice programme, which I am eagerly anticipating. For me MacNeice is a prime example of an under-celebrated writer, and it is largely thanks to his being set on my A-Level English Literature paper that I came to his work when I did. MacNeice wrote one of my favourite poems, The Sunlight on the Garden, a poignant, elegant and beautifully crafted celebration of the limitations and potential of human existence.
I was very glad to read in the trade press that the series had translated into enhanced -in some cases massively so - sales of poetry through bookshops, which is heartening in an age when poetry sections in bookshops are shrinking dramatically and are dominated by a miserly and unimaginative offering of bland anthologies and set texts.