Friday, December 06, 2013

Penguin Poets: Twentieth Century German Poetry

As those of you who follow me on Twitter (@CallumJBooks) will already know, R and I have had a few days away this week in the tranquil Suffolk town of Aldeburgh. A small but beautifully renovated fisherman's cottage was the perfect base for a few days of culture and antique shops in the quiet lanes and towns of East Anglia. Until last night... when it transpired that the cottage in which we were staying was one of the properties within the Environment Agency's predicted area of high risk in the town which not only has the sea to contend with on one side but also a large tidal river on another side which doesn't top out on its high tide until two hours after the sea. Now, Aldeburgh in December, I wouldn't want to mislead you, isn't really throbbing with either visitors or activity but last night, walking the High Street in the dark a few hours before the Storm Surge was about to reach us was very eerie indeed, just us and some police officers knocking on the doors of largely empty properties trying to find anyone stilled holed up in the at risk buildings to get them to evacuate. We considered simply driving home that night but soon discovered that the A12 had been closed by falling trees or somesuch. So, we spent most of last night in the church hall of St Peter's Aldeburgh being fed enough tea to create our own storm surge. The sea and the river finally admitted defeat at the hands of the town's flood defences at about 3a.m. and the police allowed us to return to the cottage for a few hours kip before driving home today.  By all reports the sea came very, very close to inundating the town and perhaps only failed because of a sudden change of wind direction at the moment the high tide and the storm surge coincided. An interesting, if exhausting, end to an otherwise pleasantly uneventful break.

So, to get us back in the swing of things here on Front Free Endpaper, let me introduce you to the latest in my Penguin Poets collection, no. D68, with a cover pattern designed by Stephen Russ (as so many of the best ones were!)

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