14 JULY 1979, Page 16

Rare treat

Sir: Of course your correspondent is right (23 June) — Miss Spark's verse is chaff and straw. I am reminded of an earlier and greater novelist who thought she was a poet also — George Eliot.

Nor is there anything new in your own taste. It is many years now since a writer of light fiction (Peter de Vries?) made one of his characters say that something was 'as rare as a good poem in the Spectator.'

And long before that your then Lit. Ed., the poet W.J. Turner, was printing the poems of his circle of adoring debutantes, mostly with double-barrelled names, while young male poets hung themselves on trees like acorns. Your present Lit. Ed's. preference for the unspeakable wafflings of Ashbery and Dorn will be looked on in the future with equal amazement.

Arthur J. Bull 7 Canberra Road, Leyland, Lancashire