LETTERS: Poet cornered

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The Independent Online
I did not sit on a row behind T S Eliot at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in the 1930s when Emanuel Litvinoff read out his fine incendiary poem ("Poets clash over `anti- Semitic' Eliot", 2 June). I'm old, but not that old. Litvinoff's reading took place in the 1950s. I describe the incident in detail in my autobiography, A Poet in the Family.

As Ros Wynne-Jones suggests, I do believe a small number of Eliot's poems are morally and aesthetically despicable because of the diabolism of anti-Semitic excrescences. But I should like to go on record that I am one who admires much else of Eliot's poetry and, indeed, I consider myself in his debt.

Dannie Abse

London NW11