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This report is taken from PN Review 237, Volume 44 Number 1, September - October 2017.

From the Journals R.F. Langley
From the Journals of R.F. Langley


THE POET R.F. LANGLEY (1938–2011) was also, privately, a prolific prose writer. Extracts from his journals, which he began in 1969, first appeared in PN Review in 2002. The notes to Langley’s Complete Poems, edited by Jeremy Noel-Tod, cite a number of unpublished journal entries that directly informed the writing of his verse.


25 MARCH 2006

Venice


The Salizada is stone, stone-floored, stone- or stucco-walled, lamplit and empty behind me. Suddenly B. and Eric appear from it, calling me. Eric had passed on one of the vaporettos I had seen, discovered they do not stop at San Samuele at this time of night – a fact I was beginning to deduce after half an hour – and gone on to the Accademia, coming over the bridge there and getting to the flat that way. B. had looked down from our window and seen the shadow of a man in the street, the figure itself hidden below the sill and the balcony and window box of the window below. She heard the rustling of paper, and guessed it was Eric checking his map before ringing – so she called down. So here he is, more or less on time, from Edinburgh via Frankfurt. He had seen me as he passed on the boat, it must have been me… across the water. In my solitude I was noticed. Long journeys had brought us on time together, separate still, not quite meeting ...


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