Friday, December 29, 2017

Suppose it were Friday cxlv: With you all the way


                                      British Legation
                                      15 February [1951]

               Dear Anne,

               A brief line to let you know that Eve
               is coming to London for a fortnight in
               order to scout around and see what she
               thinks about having the baby there; I've
               told her to drop you a line and perhaps
               when she comes to Oxford you'd be good
               enough to give her tea and tell her 
               roughly what the form is ..

               There is no news to give you much that
               you don't see in the papers; ah yes! I
               have struck a great blow for poetry. 
               While in Trieste I found, hiding in a
               garage, too big to be used, a perfectly
               gigantic car - a Horch: the German Rolls-
               Royce. Eight cylinder, forty horse power.
               It used to belong to Goering and then to
               the general commanding the area. I bought
               it for a song and brought it back. It is
               lovely, silver-grey, sleek and with a fun-
               ny old-fashioned look. It makes you feel
               like a film star of the twenties. We call
               it Hermann and are planning one mad summer
               of plutocracy in it before the war breaks
               out [rumored, with the USSR]. As a matter
               of fact you have often seen Hermann in the
               newsreels - do you remember the entry into
               Prague etc with one of the big shots stand-
               ing up in the front and giving the boys the
               salute. That's how I go to the office now.
               Everyone is speechless with rage, and few
               will speak to me these days. But the Bel-
               grade police force is deeply respectful.

               There are two horns on the car, bass and
               tenor. I say that I've struck a blow for
               poetry because it is an ideal poet's car:
               too large for any purpose except triumphal
               entries, and so expensive to run that only
               a lunatic would buy such a thing. I shall
               sell it to Tito when I leave. He already
               has one but not as nice as mine. Wish you
               could come out and admire it.


Spirit of Place
  Letters and Essays
  on Travel
Alan G. Thomas, editor
New Haven, Connecticut

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