‘Diana Athill and ‘Sprout’. A Friendship.

Shortly after receiving Diana’s letter, I sent her a piece I had written about my having met the poet, Stevie Smith in 1970, which I hoped she would enjoy reading.

I received this reply, on a lovely card showing a reproduction of Mary Cassatt’s The Lamp.  Diana was an accomplished artist, as well as a sublime author.

‘Dear Amanda – Thank you for writing again. It’s v. pleasant to think of you and your friends thinking of me. And I loved your meeting with Stevie – could see her so clearly in your description.

I ought to have written earlier about your poems – sorry! Such idleness! I’m too old now to ‘feel’ love poems, happy or sad ( been there, done that!) but I liked Mr Greenwood very much, and the Norwich Floods, and indeed several of the others.  I agree with Graham Ackroyd about their Chinesey quality of spare precision.

What an interesting far-flung life you have!


Diana    19.10.01

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