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This report is taken from PN Review 200, Volume 37 Number 6, June - July 2011.

Roger Langley 23 October 1938 - 25 January 2011 Tom Lowenstein
The afternoon of 12 February 2011 was cold and bright in east Suffolk. And a hundred people - far-flung friends, ex-students, old colleagues and, not least, Suffolk locals - had gathered in St Andrew's Church, Bramfield, to join the Langley family for a memorial service following the sudden death of Roger [R.F.] Langley, whose work will be familiar to PNR and Carcanet readers. Poet, teacher, student of natural history and writer of a Journal whose pages have appeared regularly in PNR, Roger had settled in Bramfield with his wife Barbara following retirement in 1999 from a distinguished teaching career - the Langleys' home being a few minutes' stroll from the church where we were sitting.

The memorial was sombre, dignified and impressive: made the more poignant in that Roger, who had died very suddenly of heart failure in January, had just successfully come through radiation treatment for cancer. But while this was a gathering of Roger's friends who wanted desperately for this event not to have happened, an intense commonality of both grief and togetherness rendered the occasion intimate and exceptionally warm. In life, Roger had drawn an enormous variety of people to him. Now he wasn't here, this collectivity, albeit brief, was both heart-broken and fraternal.

With sun shining in through daffodils set rather precariously high up on church windowsills, and the rooks, whose nests are visible from the Langleys' front window, croaking in the distance, we were, I think, aware of one overwhelming reality which ...


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