Several years ago I had a feverish flu and was staying in a room where the only thing within reach of the bed was a book of Max Ernst’s fabulous paintings. I love Ernst anyway, and when I recovered I wrote this poem about someone who is deliriously obsessed by the painter’s work. It was originally published in Poetry London, and was collected in my latest pamphlet ‘The Nightwork’.
I was stealthily filmed reading it in London last month by my friend Robin Houghton at the Poetry Cafe in London. As the Poetry Cafe is in Covent Garden and the poem mentions Covent Garden I often read it there.
The poem mentions this picture by Ernst in it, called ‘L’Ange du Foyer’, which can be translated as ‘The Fireside Angel’.