Thursday, February 12, 2015


"So long since I wrote. A year. Who cares? What then? Little. Not really any better. No change after the journeying. Four of my department ill and off. New syllabus not even published yet. And so on ... ". (August 1992)

I read such entries in R.F. Langley's Journals with mixed emotions - recognition that he, too, endured the languors of school teaching; astonishment & envy that despite this he produces poetry of extraordinary quality & (what seems to be) a daily journal of such attention. What an example!

Did he, I wonder, write 'in situ' - certain entries are so exact & detailed - or develop his writing practice to the extent that later in the evening he could recall so much & with such precision?

& - the inevitable further questions arise - did he sit through tedious Faculty Meetings, answer pointless emails, endlessly rehash Learning Outcomes & Schemes of Work, fill in vacuous online questionnaires & surveys? ... Probably not. (Mental image of a balding man, pipe in mouth, sitting to one side, jotting down lines blissfully oblivious to the debate in progress & yet alert to the sparrows pecking on the window sill ...).


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It seems my crystal ball was not so grubby ... ... resisting the temptation to say "told you so".