Charles Madge was born in Johannesburg in 1912, and was educated at Cambridge. He published his first collection of poetry, The Disappearing Castle, in 1937. During the war he did social and economic research under Lord Keynes, and edited the Pilot Papers. This poem is from Of Love, Time and Places (Anvil, pounds 18.95) a collection of his work from 1933 to 1971.
This is the first of a series of five poems to celebrate the writing of the Thirties, which coincides with the South Bank Centre's Towards the Millennium festival, which runs throughout March and April (Box Office 071 928 8800). An exhibition of poetry from the Thirties is on show at The Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, London, until 30 April.