into leaf” (the book opened at random)n”Like something almost beingnsaid.”nA few issues back, incidentally,nChronicles fulfilled that ancient ambitionnof mine by publishing Rilke’sn”Autumn Day” translated by AlbannCoventry. Apart from one or two forgottenntranslations by Ludwig Lewisohnnin the 1940’s, this is the onlynRilke poem that will live happily evernafter in the English language. FromnLewisohn’s “Angels” (as I remembernit), for comparison:nBut let the wings be spread.nThe ages’nAwakened wind comesnblowing in:nAs though God with hisnumbrageousnBroad sculptor’s hands hasnturned the pagesnOf the dark book of Origin.nBut the fulfillment of an old ambitionnpasses unnoticed, as in a dream. AlbannCoventry has given me an Englishn”Autumn Day”; Chronicles has becomenin many ways what The YalenLiterary Magazine was preventednfrom being; Philip Larkin is famous.nWhat next?nNext is Charles Causley. Betweenn1979 and 1982, The Yale LiterarynMagazine published eight importantnnew poems by Causley (“New Year’snEve, Athens”; “Sleeper in a Valley”;n”Seven Houses”; “Singing Game”;n”Returning South”; “Beechworth”;n”In a Melbourne Suburb”; “OnnLaunceston Castle”), when the onlyncollection available to American readersnwas David Godine’s CharlesnCausley: Collected Poems 1951-197Sn(Boston, 1975). Like Larkin, Causleynwas a revelation to me in 1975, and itnwas no coincidence that in the firstnissue of The Yale Literary Magazinen(well, the first of Volume 148, actually)nhis poems followed Larkin’s. Inn1984, everything we had publishednwas included in the British collectionnSecret Destinations (New Poems),nbrought out by Macmillan. Finally,nlater this month, Godine is bringingnout Causley’s poems from the lastndecade under the title of that interimncollection: Secret Destinations (Poemsn1977-1987). It is wonderful, in thisnissue’s poetry section, to be able to givenour readers a preview of this long-noverdue volume.nI saw the poet in February, at thenopening of “Causley at 70,” an exhibitionnof paintings, sculpture, manuscripts,nand books put on at the Universitynof London to define the spiritualnuniverse of this man. On a past birthday,nLarkin addressed his Cornishnfriend in “A Birthday Card”:nDear Charies, My Muse, asleepnor dead.nOffers this doggerel instead . . .nAh, Charies, be reassured!nFor younMake lasting friends with allnyou do.nAnd all you write; your truthnand sensenWe count on as a sure defencenAgainst the trendy and the mad.nThe feeble and the downrightnbad.nI hope you have a splendid day.nAcclaimed by wheeling gullsnat playnAnd barking seals, sea-lithenand lazyn(My view of Cornwall’snrather hazy)nAnd humans who don’t thinknit sinfulnTo mark your birthday withn. a skinful.nIt was in this spirit that the birthdaynexhibition opened, although throughoutnthe evening the poet was drinkingnwater.nLarkin and Causley: no two poetsncould be less alike. And yet in onenrespect they are similar: both are quietnpublicly. This is impossible in America,nwhere withdrawal into private life isnsynonymous with oblivion, but Englandnstill offers her poets nooks to crawl intonand think in, sometimes among then”barking seals, sea-lithe and lazy”—nwho am I to improve on Larkin’s visionnof Cornwall?—though often far lessnpicturesque. This is one reason whynyour poetry editor writes from mistynAlbion, and why so many of the poetsnto appear in these pages are British.nAmerican influence — in the form ofnthe worst that New York has to offer—nis increasingly felt, however. The nooksnare disappearing one by one, bulldozednby U.S. publishing conglomerates, asphaltednunder Madison Avenue banalities,nand walked on by visiting Columbianprofessors. This, in turn, affectsnjudgments of poetry, poets, people, andnlife.nA few years ago, Stephen Spender,nthe English poet New York loves best,nwas a guest at a dinner party given in hisnhonor by a friend of mine, a marvelouslyngifted poet in his own right, who, fornreasons no discerning reader of poetrynneeds to have explained in this day andnage, has been published in two magazinesnin his whole life: The Yale LiterarynMagazine and Chronicles. Apartnfrom having written two or threendozen poems that will live long afternthe magazines which published themnhave been forgotten (compared tonSpender’s two or three, in my view),nthis friend of mine has something of anreputation as The Last Gentleman innNew York. He wanted to show hisnwork to the celebrated Spender, butndid not want to take advantage of anguest. In the end, after a few days’nsoul-searching, he dropped off a sheafnof poems at the hotel where the celebratednpersonage was staying. To makena long story short, he has not heardnfrom him since.n~Vv,nnnI was introduced to Spender at thenCausley exhibition and reminded himnthat he had never even thanked mynfriend for dinner. “He is the man withnthat big apartment on Park Avenue?”nsaid the celebrated personage uncertainly,nadding as a kind of interrogativenafterthought: “And he writes a lot ofnpoems?” My friend’s name is RudolphnSchirmer, and the mind of one deservingnthe title of poet should have generatednmore interesting associations. Inn1937, Charles Causley’s first work, anplay called The Conquering Hero, wasnpublished in America by Schirmer’s.nBut I have digressed. Welcome, tonChronicles, Charles Causley.nAndrei Navrozov is poetry editor fornChronicles.nJUNE 1988/49n