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Why poetry matters
If poetry matters so much, why is the Beeb running its new show on BBC2, presented by Griff Rhys Jones, at the same time as The Apprentice on BBC1?
Everyone knows how addictive Sir Alan's show is, which surely spells a very small viewing audience for Mr Jones and his musings.
I'm quite prepared to miss the fussing and fighting for a week for a refreshing blast of Keats but I'm not in charge of the remote control in my house.
Fortunately, I managed to pop in to Mostly Books in Abingdon yesterday and snap up a copy of Louis MacNeice's Autumn Journal, which focuses on life in the UK in the 1930s.
I've got MacNeice's selected works by Faber, but it hasn't got the whole of the journal in it which inevitably makes it more difficult to appreciate.
Perhaps I shall read it after Sir Alan says You're Fired to some unfortunate business type.
Later in the day, I descended the stairs at the Oxfam bookshop in St Giles for a short shift valuing first editions and other gems.
There were some Andrew Lang fairy books which appeared to be extremely valuable. I suspect the volumes will now go for auction.
And there were some hardback copies of Mark Haddon's two novels, which should sell fast considering the author is local.
I spotted a copy of William Boyd's On The Yankee Station in a crate marked culled fiction, which means the books are destined for another store, and decided to pay the £1.99 price tag.
I also bought a National Trust guide to Clouds Hill, once the remote Dorset home of TE Lawrence, otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia.
I still wasn't finished. In the well-stocked religion section, I found a collection of radio talks given by Richard Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, in the days when he was a vicar in Fulham.
Finally, I grabbed a copy of Iain Sinclair's Lights Out for the Territory. Due to a rare oversight, the book had not been priced, so a fellow volunteer on the till called it £1.99.
I also got a copy of The Book Collector magazine, which had an interesting articles on an appreciation society for Anthony Buckeridge's Jennings books.
It turns out that this year's AGM will be held in Oxford and I feel quite tempted to go along, or at the very least read my battered paperback copy of Jennings' Diary.