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This report is taken from PN Review 25, Volume 8 Number 5, May - June 1982.

The Devil and T. S.Eliot David Arkell

The centenary celebrations for Jean de Bosschère (1878-1953) hardly set the Scheldt on fire, but in their wake has come something worth while: the Belgian poet's first full-length biography, which at last puts fairly in perspective his place in modern poetry.

When de Boschère fled to London, as a refugee, in January 1915, he had yet to make his mark. By good luck, however, he had been corresponding with F. S. Flint, who now became his guide in London. Their first port of call was Harold Monro's Poetry Bookshop, then situated a few steps south of Queen's Square, Bloomsbury. (The spot is marked today by an Italian restaurant.) Here he was introduced to Richard Aldington, HD and all the other Imagists-but especially to Ezra Pound.

De Boschère was a quick learner, and Pound, as ever, the great persuader. In the intervals of teaching at a boys' school in Greenwich the Belgian poet was initiated into all the secrets of Imagism. It was in an abandoned garden near his flat in Tresillian Road, Brockley, that he began writing poems for Pound, and though the garden itself featured in many of them, the mood was not Georgian:


Yet I am alone in this orchard
With pencil and paper,
With this old hat which has seen Naples and Amsterdam
London and Cologne.

. . .

Yet I am alone in this orchard
With this old hat ...


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