Elaine Feinstein has always written most intensiy about people. In this book, she remembers friends she has loved, writers she has known and literary figures from the past. She writes of the Russian poet Bella Akhmadulina with tender admiration; the East End poet Emanuel Litvinoff, at work in his Bloomsbury flat; and Masha Enzensberger, who brought Feinstein into the world of Marina Tsvetaeva.
As she imagines Raymond Chandler, Isaac Rosenberg or Billie Holiday her words about them say things about herself. In the closing poem, ‘Death and the Lemon Tree’, she finds a compelling image for the privilege of continuing to write into old age.
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