It is a bad season. A day to the month after Michael Murphy's death comes the death of another poet friend, Matt Simpson. The news is very fresh so I won't write much. Matt was an old friend, a very good friend, another Liverpool man, perhaps more Bootle than Liverpool, working class and Cambridge, thick Scouse accent, author of several excellent books of poetry as well as studies of various Shakespeare's plays and of The Waste Land. He taught Michael. Introduced him to Deryn.
Matt loved music. I have sat in his room in Boundary Drive while he played me recordings of Haydn, Schubert and Tallis. In fact the very Spem in Alium I had up on Sunday.
He had gone in to hospital last week for a quadruple by-pass but even at seventy-three, he was tough and I was sure - everyone was sure - he would get through it. But there were complications apparently, and he died today.
Shock and terrible sadness. In another post I'll try to remember how Matt and I became friends. Not now. Dear old grouch. We last met at Michael's funeral.
At the end of this week, at the other end of this tunnel, our sweet spry bright daughter, Helen gets married to a lovely man, Richard, known as Rich. Middlesbrough boy. That is to be locally and everything is abuzz with activity. I cannot help thinking of that line from The Winter's Tale about the finding of Perdita:
Shepherd: Heavy matters! heavy matters! but look thee here, boy. Now bless thyself: thou mettest with things dying, I with things new born.
Not new born exactly, but in a way new born, as every wedding is, according to the bright dimensions of life.